1920s Monitor Shoe Company Catalog

We found this catalog to be quite educational in that everything pictured is what we 21st century humanoids would call “Boots”, however the name of the business identifies it as a “Shoe Company” and every page says “The Monitor Shoe“. And one model can be ordered “with extra high top”, yet is still apparently a shoe.

Evidently a shoe had to be quite long to be considered a boot.

As is common in that period, the styles could all be had for $3.50 a pair (add 25¬Ę postage if ordering by mail – and apparently if you want to send it in cash you should send it in a Registered Letter…

1930s Men’s Captoe by Colgate Arch Preserver


While shooting the brand name we discovered that the tongue was tacked (sewn) to the body of the shoe to keep it from getting off-center.

We’ve seen several iterations of the Arch Preserver brand name – one identical to the one pictured that said “MIAMI” instead of “COLGATE”. Ads from the 20s for this brand show a more angular sole – and from the 40s are much less narrow. The size of this one is “12 1/2 aa” – quite common for the 20s and 30s.

It looks as though it has been resoled :(

Welcome to the Aris Allen Baltimore Shoeseum and Swing Era Artifacts!


Visit us at our location in Baltimore, Maryland and you’ll see over 800 pieces on display. From shoes, to dance cards, to advertising pieces, to salesman’s miniature samples you’ll find lots of goodies to enjoy.

Our mission is to immerse you in everything a dancer from the Swing Era would have been familiar with.

For those of you who can’t come see our collection in person, we offer our online collection.


We bring you both Footwear and Swing artifacts from the first half of the 20th Century. If you had been a young swing dancer in the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, or 1950s you’d recognize most of the items in our collection. Every dancer would have had toiletries like hair setting lotion, cosmetics, and fragrances, footwear for dress, play, and dancing, accessories like jewelry, hosiery, and hair care items, and would have had dance tickets and flyers and mementos like dance cards sitting on their dresser.

We’ve tried our best to guess the decade of all our pieces, but we’ll sometimes run into this problem: occasionally shoes that look like they belong to an era will have been made 5-10 years after that style is, well, out of style. Here’s the catch: sometimes a style that would have been popular with 20-somethings in the 1930s will actually have been made in the 1940s for a 40-something who doesn’t like the current styles. 1940s styling will show up on 1950s shoes and so on.

You can see this today in orthopedic footwear… which looks oddly reminiscent of what a senior of today would have worn in their heyday (the 30s, 40s or 50s). What will orthopedic shoes look like when we’re very, very old? Steve Madden chunky heels and pointy witch toes is our best guess!

So to better serve you we spend our days researching Swing Era everything and have tried to be as accurate as possible. Usually the logo or the sole and heel really tells the story.

That said, we hope you enjoy our collection. Check back often as we add more photos.

Thanks so much for your interest!

Our current categories are:

Women’s Shoes
1910s and before
Men’s Shoes
1910s and before
And click here to see our extensive collection of Swing Era Artifacts and Vintage Footwear Advertising Pieces