Turning your baby shoes into an eternal keepsake
Have you ever heard of bronzing baby shoes? Neither did we. We were absolutely fascinated by this when we saw it! Our research shoes that it is a tradition that goes back for many generations. The adorable little shoes worn by someone when he or she was a baby can, if bronzed become an interesting family heirloom that will last for generations. Can you imagine your great great great great grandchild one day looking at the shoes that you wore as a baby? Naturally, the popularity of bronzing baby shoes has fallen in and out of popularity over time. Believe or not though, there are still many business out there today who will bronze sentimental items for you.
The history of bronzing special items goes back to before the 6th Century B.C, in other words, hundreds of years ago before baby moccasins were invented! Originally, bronzing was done on statues, picture frames, dishes, and other household items. But I guess someone thought, why not bronze my toddler’s shoes?
The American Bronzing Company got its start in 1934. Violet Shinbach started a business that eventually became the largest and most trusted baby shoe bronzing company in the world. It was originally named the Bron-Shoe Co.Violet Shinbach saw a pair of bronzed baby shoes in a department store in 1930 and realized this idea was one she could make a business out of. Since then, she has probably bronzed leather baby t-bars, first walker oxfords and toddler boots!
Since 1934, the American Bronzing Company has bronzed over 14,000,000 baby shoes for sentimental parents. The company is located in Columbus, Ohio, and can bronze your baby’s shoes (or other special items) today. In addition to baby shoes, the company has bronze plated baby pacifiers, track cleats, golf balls, dog collars, baby ballet slippers, and more. Some people have their baby’s christening slippers bronzed and also their christening shoes.
Why would some parents choose to have their baby’s shoes bronzed? Part of the reason is because the little shoes evoke nostalgia and bring them back to a time when their babies were just learning to walk and therefore so cute! Looking at the shoes reminds parents of when their child was but a bub. The shoes make parents think about the first time their baby (or toddler) took his or her very first steps, and learning how to walk. Obviously, first steps are a very memorable milestone as are first falls. Luckily, many parents now know what their children are best off in natural leather soft soled shoes.
Many people feel that a baby officially becomes a toddler after he or she starts to walk (the term toddler comes from the fact that they babies start to “toddle” around). Parents bronze their baby’s shoes in order to capture a special moment in time. The bronzed baby shoes become a memory of when their child was a small, innocent, baby and before they learn how to talk and sometimes answer back! A pair of bronzed baby shoes becomes a cherished keepsake and family heirloom. That special time before the children have learned to run around in their new shoes often without their baby socks.
The process of bronzing can take between 1 and 2 months. First, a special formula is applied that stiffens the baby shoes. The laces are tied and the shoes are formed to look as they would if the baby was wearing them. The shoes then get coated again for electroplating. They sit on a plating rack for many hours.
After the shoes have been bronzed and allowed to cool for some time, they are polished and polished to a high sheen. Another special chemical coating is applied, this time to protect the bronze so that it doesn’t discolour over time. The last step is to mount the new baby shoes onto a base for display. Like all bronzes, a newly bronzed pair of baby shoes starts out a shiny gold color, and develops a lovely patina over time.
I wonder if anyone has tried bronzing baby socks?