There was a time where the whole middle class, or so it seemed, bronzed the shoes of their first baby. It didn't seem quite as important with the second or third but that first one...that was special. We often think that it was a craze in the 1950s but it began earlier than that.
In fact, enter 1934. Violet Shinbach is considered to be the 'mother of shoe bronzing' and began a company in 1934 to do just that. The shoes were first dipped into a solution that would add rigidity to the material of the shoe and from there it was bronzed. It was a way for parents to preserve a memory of a child; something that would forever remind them of when their child was young.
Of course, like everything else, fads come into style and then go out. By the 1990s bronzing was frowned upon because of the process materials that were used were unsafe for the environment. Since then, things have changed once again and there are companies that can bronze your baby's shoes keeping within the stringent government guidelines.