A. The most popular and expensive items were those relating to fashion (high fashion), the theatre, the carousel, and jewelry. Many of these items were made by the well known French company of Luchini. The company also produced a good variety of jewelry and some clothes (mostly made in large quantities in Spain). At the time of the outbreak of World War I, Luchini was a major producer of automobiles and was in the leading business.
Q. Did people take advantage of the availability of free shoes?
A. Yes. The most common and easy to attain were free shoes and booties. A large number of people had both of these items, and some wore them at many different places during each day of the week.
Q. Why was this trend so prevalent?
A. During the 1920s and 1930s the idea that an individual could wear something free gave people some new ideas in how to present themselves. This became a key factor in a wide variety of social problems. The social cost was greater than the economic cost, and social institutions were made more rigid. A huge amount of effort was spent on finding out a way to keep people in touch with their free or inexpensive alternatives.
Q. How were these things sold to people? The ads did not contain descriptions of the items, only that they were available.
A. The advertisements were not given pictures of the items. Also, the ads did not disclose prices. One may wonder if someone who was interested in wearing the free shoe would pay for the item. Most of the time a person would try the item in some sort of store which had free shoes on their shelves or under their beds. The person who wanted to buy the shoes would look for one and see that it sold rather quickly.
Q. What were children wearing?
A. Children often wanted a free shoe for the most part. They would probably play and often wanted their own shoes. It was common for a little baby girl to be wearing a free lace shoe and wear it while the father was at home.
Q. What was the most common age group?
A. The least common age group during the 20th century was the elementary school student.
Q. Was the dress code uniformed?
A. Some schools used various levels of uniforms such as white, black, white, red, white, yellow, and brown. Other schools only allowed boys to wear uniforms.
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