Charles F. Brannock Inventor - the Brannock Device®

Charles F. Brannock
Inventor – the Brannock Device®

Guess what the Brannock Device® is used to measure?

  1. metal for welding
  2. the space between traffic cones
  3. your foot
  4. the mouth for braces

If you chose number 3, you are correct.

Most of us have seen the Brannock Device® used many times, but never knew the name of this simple machine invented to measure the overall length, width and arch of the foot.


The Brannock Device® was introduced as the “Brannock Scientific Foot Measuring Device.” It was further elevated to its current day status of the “go to” foot measuring instrument when the shoe industry welcomed it as “the most accurate and practical measuring device known to orthopedic science.”

Charles Brannock earned the first patent on his foot measuring device in 1928, and he ran his firm until 1992, when he died at the age of 89.  A real boom occurred in business when the Army hired Bannock to ensure that the boots and shoes fit enlisted soldiers.  The growth in business made it possible to expand their manufacturing facilities.  

The RITZ Stick

The RITZ Stick

When you see the predecessor to the Brannock Device®, it will explain further why it was so widely received and hasn’t been tinkered with since 1925 when it was invented.   Here is the RITZ stick.


Charles Brannock was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 1992 for the foot measuring tool that bears his name – the Brannock Device®.  Today, the Brannock Device® remains the standard for the footwear industry. With more than one million devices sold, the Brannock Device® has varied very little over the years. However, the company, under its new owners, has started manufacturing customized models and is currently considering producing a digital model.

What do you think is the greatest, most unusual or most useful invention of all time?