Most of us probably remember the good old school days, when we wore white canvas shoes to school. And yes, there was the dreaded weekly grind of having to wash them on weekends, and then lovingly (grudgingly, for some) applied an overcoat of Liquid Whitener (perhaps from Kiwi).
But long before Kiwi and others became that clever, shoe white came in the form of a cake of compressed white powder. There were several brands — the local made ones were cheap, something like 20 cts a piece. To apply, we just removed the wrapper, and then rubbed the cake all over the still-wet shoes.
Upon contact with the wet surfaces, the powder turned slightly bluish. Once fully dried in the sun, a brilliant white finish was attained. ‘Twas that easy !