|Wood shoe mold or shoe last|
Old shoe forms look great in an urban setting and are particularly suitable for a steampunk design style. Despite the seemingly quaint technology, the single last pictured to the right is dated 1959. Many of these shoemakers' molds bear dates, sizes, and the name of a manufacturer.
Wood shoe lasts were made of a hardwood like maple to maintain shape through constant use. Chemical preservatives helped prevent swelling and shrinking of the wood.
The North East part of the United States was once a major manufacturing hub for footwear. As American production waned, many of these lasts became available in antique and salvage shops, as well as online sites, and can be quite inexpensive to buy.