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If the Shoe Fits

X-rays are useful, but this went too far

Lots of people say X-rays are dangerous, but they are still useful and can be a real lifesaver at times.

Still, you have to wonder what shoe sales people were thinking when they came up with this idea, noted by the Museum of Questionable Medical Devices. In the 1950s -- even though everyone knew the dangers of X-rays -- it was common for American shoe stores to measure feet using a device that contained a shoe-fitting X-ray unit. The X-rays penetrated the footwear and feet and resulted in an image of the feet within the shoes.

By 1970 most states had outlawed the machines. Kind of gives new meaning to the term hot foot.

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