My recent post about corsets contained a syndicated article from New York Times, published in Kansas Farmer of Topeka, Kansas, on May 5, 1880:
The author, an eminent physician from London, England, explained why corsets were so damaging to a woman’s health. Specifically, he argued, to her brain-power. Dr. Richardson was far from the only authority who spoke loudly against the tight lacing of corsets–and corsets at all. I’ve read citations from other men in the late 19th century condemning the wearing of corsets, who admitted they could not persuade their own wives and daughters to forego the dangerous practice. Fashion had that tight of a hold over the women. Nineteenth Century fashions, focused on how tiny the waist could be made (and made to appear), required tight lacing to gain the effects so eagerly sought.
Can you imagine?
Just how much pressure would have to be exerted upon a young girl’s ribs to force them to change their natural shape…and then to remain so constricted?
Throughout time, advertisements have always argued their side of the story… even when it’s largely lacking in scientific basis (or truth). Maternity Corset advertisements argued that such a contraption was necessary for a healthy baby and safe pregnancy. Most women wanted a healthy child and good outcome, so they continued to wear what their mother’s insisted upon: laces (corsets).
Dr. Warner’s Health Corset (with just what every woman needs:) skirt supporter and self-adjusting pads to secure health and comfort of body, with grace and beauty of form. All highly desirable outcomes. Even better– Three garments in one. (See the supporters referenced–skirt supporters distributed the weight of a woman’s skirt containing many yards of fabric to the shoulders, and many women also padded their bust and/or hips to greater achieve an hourglass figure.)
Ball’s Health Preserving Corsets, made/distributed by Chicago Corset Company, states in their newspaper advertisements, in the product’s name, that their corset preserves health. Who doesn’t want their health to last?
BUT SCIENCE SAYS…
AND DRESS REFORMERS…
~ Dress-Reform: A Series of Lectures Delivered in Boston, on Dress as it Affects the Health of Women. Edited by Abba Goold Woolson. With Illustrations. Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1874
ONE MORE VOICE OF REASON.
The following article, published in Chicago Daily Tribune of Chicago, Illinois, on April 24, 1897:
Copyright © 2017 Kristin Holt LC