The Miss America Pageant was first televised in 1954, and Lee Meriwether took home the tiara the following year in 1955.
Now in a nod to the modernization of the pageant, this year's Miss Georgia, Georgia Tech student Maggie Bridges, plans to wear custom, 3D printed shoes on the runway in Atlantic City in her quest to take home the venerable, if controversial, title.
Bridges is a business administration major at Georgia Tech, and like Bess Myerson (Miss America 1945), Irma Nydia Vasquez, Yun Tau Chee and Cheryl Brown before her, she wants to take home the crown and make a little history of her own.
After a turbulent period in the contest's history from 2004-2013 when the Miss America Pageant swapped locations, time periods, and networks, Bridges is determined to throw yet another curve ball at the traditions of the pageant.
Georgia Tech, one of the top schools in the nation with a reputation for their computer science and engineering programs, might seem like an unlikely jumping off point for a beauty queen, but Bridges says that even though her avocation "may not be the first thing you might associate with a Georgia Tech student," she's not letting that slow her down.
"I feel like being a female at Tech, it's kind of your duty to break stereotypes," she said.
And part of her strategy for the contest involves some amazing 3D printed shoes which were designed specifically for the contest by a team of three industrial design students at Georgia Tech.
Using a laser cutter, heat molding and 3D printing to arrive at the finished product, the shoes are meant to evoke a classic symbol of her school's history, a Ford Model A known as the "Ramblin' Wreck," the official student body mascot. Students Maren Sonne, Jordan Thomas, and Julia Brooks pitched in to create the spectacular shoes.
Bridges plans to crisscross the stage in her high-heeled "Ramblin' Wrecks" next weekend at the Miss America Parade in Atlantic City.