Historical information

Shoe-making began in Australia among the penal colonies in 1790 who crafted shoes from imported leather. The first Australian-made shoes were expensive and many people were sent back to England for their shoes until the 1830s. However, in the years after Australian shoe-making became more accessible and affordable. Toward the end of the 19th Century, many wealthy women became obsessed with the latest fashions for both themselves and their children.

Shoe-making became a profitable business for several leading companies during the 20th Century, as the industry was seen as a successful and practical item that most Australians required.


The baby shoe holds significance as it represents the craftsmanship of Australian leather shoe-making from the 20th Century. As the style of shoe is more modest and stylish, it can be assumed that it was the type of footwear used for the Church Sunday Service or for special occasions, with further gives insight into the social constructs of Chiltern, a rural town in Victoria, at that time.

Physical description

Black leather shoe. Leather sole is black and the inner of the shoe is tan. Discolouration on the shoe due to dirt.