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Boots - Surgical, Leather Object Reg. No: HT 1816

Pair of leather boots. One has no last but has a cork insole. The other is on a hand made silicon and sawdust last.

The Barfoot surgical bootmaking business was bought in 1930 and ran until about 1974 when illness forced the retirement of the two brothers who owned it. It was originally located behind St Vincents Hospital and later relocated to Collins St in 1945.
Pair of leather boots. One has no last but has a cork insole. The other is on a hand made silicon and sawdust last
Statement Of Significance:
The Barfoot collection is significant for two reasons. Firstly it offers a different perspective to bootmaking - that of specialist surgical bootmaking, which addresses physical abnormalities of the feet or legs. Each shoe or boot was designed and made specifically for each customer, requiring innovative thinking and craftmanship by the brothers.This collection illustrates the particular nature of surgical bootmaking through pattern books that show the measurements and requirements of customers; some patterns; a pair of siilicone & sawdust custom lasts and semi completed shoes, and 5 pairs of wooden lasts. [the complete collection of customer lasts has not survived] It also includes a few specialist hand tools typically not used by general bootmakers.

Secondly, the Barfoot collection also offers new objects that expand and enhance the existing bootmaking collections at Museum Victoria, and broaden our general understanding of bootmaking in the early - mid 20th century.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Mr Tom Barfoot, 2003
Discipline: Technology

More information

Tagged with: disability technologies, footwear, footwear industry, surgical apparatus instruments
Themes this item is part of: Clothing & Textiles Collection, Medicine in Society Collection, Working Life & Trades Collection
Primary Classification: TRADES
Secondary Classification: Boot & Shoe Making
Tertiary Classification: boots
Place & Date Made: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1930-1974

Dates of business


Anrew L. Barfoot Posted on 05 Jan 2015 10:38 PM
I am the son of Alex Barfoot, the elder of the two brothers who operated this business.

A couple of points. The address in the city was 29 Little Collins Street - not Collins street. They also had space in a building at 22 Ridgway Place, about 75 meters from door to door.

There is a sign, on the outside of a brick wall on the "Melbourne Club" grounds that has I believe, been recognised by the National Trust (hearsay).

I can supply a photo of the sign, my father an my uncle if you would like. Just let me know.

Andrew L. Barfoot.

ps. run a spell checker over your page here. I does not look too good when a library or museum cannot even spell......

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