Einstein's Feet

A shoe-shop owner tells how he solved a problem that the genius couldn't

It's hard to do your best thinking when your feet hurt. That's true even for geniuses. On a crisp fall morning back in 1952, Peter Hulit was tending to business at his shoe store on Nassau Street--the venerable main drag of Princeton, N.J.--when he got an emergency call. Helen Dukas, Albert Einstein's secretary-housekeeper, was on the line. Could Hulit come to the physicist's home? "Dr. Einstein's shoes are hurting him," Dukas said. Recalls Hulit: "I'd never made a house call before or since. But this was Einstein."

Hulit, who is now 82, a D-day survivor and long retired, was used to...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!