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army slippers Options
justina bandol
Posted: Monday, August 26, 2019 9:00:58 AM
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Can you help me figure out what army slippers are in the following quote:

„replied Jo, dancing about the room to take the first stiffness off the new army slippers” - from Louisa May Alcott's Little Women.

The slippers were a present for the girl's mother.

Thank you.
Blodybeef
Posted: Monday, August 26, 2019 9:31:02 AM

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Like this ? :


[image not available]


Army Slippers
justina bandol
Posted: Monday, August 26, 2019 10:35:24 AM
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I doubt it. They don't seem stiff enough. Whistle
Sarrriesfan
Posted: Monday, August 26, 2019 10:36:21 AM

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justina bandol wrote:
Can you help me figure out what army slippers are in the following quote:

„replied Jo, dancing about the room to take the first stiffness off the new army slippers” - from Louisa May Alcott's Little Women.

The slippers were a present for the girl's mother.

Thank you.


I would presume a style of slippers issued to soldiers in the Union Army, soldiers would be issued with different clothes for different duties sometimes infantry who marched would wear sturdy walking boots and I would guess something more comfortable for resting in barracks.

What they look like, we would need an expert in Civil War era Union equipment to tell us.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Monday, August 26, 2019 10:38:07 AM

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Hhmmm Think I don't think so.

I've never heard of "army slippers" specifically, but since she was "taking the stiffness off" these would not be soft house-shoes.

They would be the other meaning of 'slippers' - ladies evening shoes.

There seems to be a cross-over of meanings between "evening shoes", "slippers", "pumps", "court shoes" and "dress shoes".
All these words seem to be used to mean the same sort of thing.



Both of these (and many more styles) are shown in a search for "lady's evening slippers".
justina bandol
Posted: Monday, August 26, 2019 10:45:43 AM
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Most likely women's shoes. I was wondering why „army” though.
hedy mmm
Posted: Monday, August 26, 2019 11:02:42 AM

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Hi justina bandol, I’ll take a stab of its meaning...I did read the book as a child, it was a favorite, I just don’t remember that quote presently.

However, I believe the slippers, specifically new footwear, are made to be worn inside the house (house slippers), they were obviously brand new, stiff (hadn’t been broken-in), and they were a military family, so Jo donned, danced and broke in the army slippers for her mom...a special gesture which conveyed her love for her mom...

.Maybe your right Sarrriefian..that.they are army issued!

hedy

Sorry DragOnspeaker, my friend, I crossed with you in my post...I took too long to write...so many interrupts with work! Yikes...
As usual, I love your Picts...BTW, my slippers are teddy bears!

I didn’t think they were evening wear, (in AE English, we call them evening foot wear or evening shoes) ...if they had been, her mom might not have been to happy, but you are possibly correct!

hedy
Romany
Posted: Tuesday, August 27, 2019 6:40:43 AM
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I imagine, knowing the way Alcott writes, that somewhere previously in the book there has been a discussion or scene concerning Xmas present for each other.

I have no idea of the regular issue for soldiers in the Army at that time - but it does sound ludicrous to think of the military issuing a comfy pair of slippers to each person so that, camped out in ruined buildings, or in the midst of desolation and ruin, each can calmly don a pair of slippers at the end of the day and prance around in them - why not smoking jackets as well to complete such an incongruous scene!!

The March family - like all families everywhere, have their own way of referring to things that have some meaning only to them. One of the reason's for the books' appeal is that they allow us an insight into the family and it's private workings: each "family usage" is usually presented with an illustration of how it came about (Even why the mother is called "Marmee".)

The fact that they have been embroidered evidences that they really are slippers in the way we use the word now. But like others so far, I have no recollection of why they were called "Army" footwear either. But I have a feeling that, if one were to flick back through the book, it will have previously been explained.

My original thought, on reading the thread name, was to think it was querying a statement from Asia where, in most countries flip-flips, plastic mules, "shower shoes", and thongs (flip-flops), are all called "slippers".
BobShilling
Posted: Tuesday, August 27, 2019 1:44:08 PM
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Romany wrote:
But like others so far, I have no recollection of why they were called "Army" footwear either. But I have a feeling that, if one were to flick back through the book, it will have previously been explained.

I did flick through the earlier part of the book; I found nothing useful.
thar
Posted: Tuesday, August 27, 2019 1:53:00 PM

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Maybe they keep getting mislaid...


Ah, m' slippers!

Whistle

Or maybe they soothe sore feet at the end of a hard day.
"Ahhhh, meeeeee" slippers.
FounDit
Posted: Tuesday, August 27, 2019 3:45:57 PM

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justina bandol wrote:
Can you help me figure out what army slippers are in the following quote:

„replied Jo, dancing about the room to take the first stiffness off the new army slippers” - from Louisa May Alcott's Little Women.

The slippers were a present for the girl's mother.

Thank you.


Here is an interesting article about the shoes and boots of the nineteenth century.

https://people.seas.harvard.edu/~jones/mckay/history.html

and this site has some pictures

https://www.ccsutlery.com/store/civil-war-shoes-boots.html
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