Objects | Inventions and Firsts


Bainbridge court shoe, 1900-1920

Discovery Museum, Tyne and Wear

Firsts, Retail

1900 – 1945

Bainbridge's was one of the first department stores in the world to open, here, in the North East.

In 1838 Emerson Muschamp Bainbridge went into partnership with William Alder Dunn to open a fashion and drapers shop on Market Street in Newcastle upon Tyne.

After an offer from John Lewis Partnership was accepted in 1953, the store was bought out but continued to trade as Bainbridge's in Market Street. In the 1970s, the store relocated to what was then the largest indoor shopping mall in Britain, Eldon Square. John Lewis still trades in Eldon Square today.

These shoes were made in Paris specifically for Bainbridge in about 1900-1920. By the end of the Great War, skirt lengths had shortened and there was a greater fascination in footwear. By the 1920s, feathers, rosettes, lace and embroidery were all used to add interest below the ankle.

On display at Discovery Museum, ground floor Newcastle Story Gallery (Victorian era), Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums

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