Mrs. Day’s Ideal Baby Shoe Company

By June 24, 2024 Events

Back by popular demand, beginning Monday June 24th for the summer

Monday, Wednesday and Fridays 10am to noon at Tapley Memorial Hall, 13 Page Street

Did you wear Ideal Baby Shoes? Did you know someone who worked for Ideal? Did you live in Danvers before 1998 and remember the big factory at 3 Holten Street, now a parking lot? To discover more about this very successful company, check out our new exhibit on Mrs. Adra Day and her Ideal Baby Shoe Company. From 1902-1982, the Ideal Baby Shoe Company supplied millions of babies with their shoes from infancy to their first years walking and running.

Danvers Historical Society’s volunteers, Joyce Cranford and Sheila Cooke-Kayser have been having fun selecting the many Ideal baby shoes in the society’s collection for this exhibit. The exhibit highlights how Mrs. Day started making baby shoes and designing her shoes using medical scientific research to protect and support children’s feet. What marketing strategies did she develop to promote and sell thousands of shoes a year? Did you know that 80% of Ideal’s employees were women? Women worked at all levels of the company’s operations and all departments except one were supervised by women. Not only will you see baby shoes sold between 1906 through 1970, you will also see 19th century shoemaking tools, photographs of the Ideal factories and promotional materials.

Through the years many people have donated their Ideal Baby Shoes to Danvers Historical Society. In 1974 James and Robert McGinnity, the last owners of the company, donated Mrs. Day’s original shoe shop along with over 200 pairs of Ideal baby shoes and a collection of 19th century baby shoes.