The Nursery Shoe: St. Louis World’s Fair: 1904


It is proposed to erect a gigantic shoe on the World’s Fair Grounds as an attractive feature for the children, and at the same time to put it to the practical use of a nursery and playground. It is planned to build it to correspond with the ideas conveyed in the rhymes of our childhood, and to maintain different compartments especially fitted up for the comfort and amusement of the little ones. Uniformed and trained nurses will be in attendance to care for them while their parents are viewing other attractions. A movable sidewalk is suggested to add to the novelty of the structure.

The shoe would have the appearance of having been worn by a great giant and various patches and holes will be used as entrances, exits and windows.

Through one of these openings a great papier mache figure of the old woman who lived in the shoe will peer out, and at other holes the live children would of course appear, thus giving a realistic effect to the scene.

The principal entrance will be to an elevator, which will take visitors to the different apartments. A large observation platform will be arranged where a band of string music will play all the popular nursery airs of childhood’s happy days.

Many splendid electric light effects will be introduced, if the shoe is built, to make it particularly picturesque at night.

Refreshments especially adapted to the health and comfort of the children will be served, and everything to amuse the little tots will be found in the “Old Woman’s Shoe” at the World’s Fair in St. Louis, 1904. Boston Post. 

The Banner-Democrat [Lake Providence, LA] 27 December 1902: p. 2

Mrs Daffodil cannot discover if this whimsical building was ever actually built. See these wonderful vintage images of various nursery rhyme shoes.


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