As late as 1850 most shoes were made on absolutely straight lasts, there being no difference between the right and the left shoe. Breaking in a new pair of shoes was not easy. There were but two widths to a size; a basic last was used to produce what was known as a "slim" shoe. When it was necessary to make a "fat" or "stout" shoe the shoemaker placed over the cone of the last a pad of leather to create the additional foot room needed.
When the 27-year-old ordered a special monster-design slipper to fit his oversized left foot, he was sent this size 1,450 one [210 x 130 x 65cm] – because manufacturers failed to spot a decimal point.
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