Charles F. Brannock

Last updated
Charles F. Brannock
BornMay 16, 1903
DiedNovember 22, 1992 (age 89)
Residence Syracuse, New York
Nationality United States
Known for Brannock Device
Awards National Inventors Hall of Fame, inducted 2007
Scientific career
Fields Inventor

Charles F. Brannock (May 16, 1903 – November 22, 1992) was the inventor and manufacturer of the familiar Brannock Device for measuring overall length, width, and heel-to-ball length of the foot. Brannock, proprietor of the successful Park-Brannock Shoe Store in Syracuse, New York, developed the device in 1925. The instrument was a sales aid, but by ensuring more accurate fittings, the device also helped his customers alleviate or avoid foot problems due to ill-fitting shoes. Brannock also developed specially calibrated devices for the various branches of the military, which issued millions of boots and shoes to servicemen, especially during World War II. Though there were competing measuring devices on the market, the Brannock Device quickly became the industry standard and is still used in shoe stores all over the world.

Brannock Device measurement instrument for shoe size

The Brannock Device is a measuring instrument invented by Charles F. Brannock for measuring a person's shoe size. The son of a shoe industry entrepreneur, Brannock attended Syracuse University, New York, where he was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon Fraternity. Brannock spent two years developing a simple means of measuring the length, width, and arch length of the human foot. He eventually improved on the wooden RITZ Stick, the industry standard of the day, patenting his first prototype in 1925 and an improved version in 1927. The device has both left and right heel cups and is rotated through 180 degrees to measure the second foot. Brannock later formed the Brannock Device Company to manufacture and sell the product, and headed the company until 1993 when he died at age 89. Today, the Brannock Device is an international standard of the footwear industry, and the Smithsonian Institution houses samples of some of the first Brannock Devices.

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