An unnamed Dress Reformer, utterly against “tight lacing” (corsets), uses the art of poetry to explain that everything that ills a woman–from her attitude to her nature, from length of life to a red-tipped nose–is all a result of the ill-fated habit of tightly cinched corsets. This vintage newspaper publication is an example of the American Victorian’s use of humor to blame fashion on craziness with a price too steep to pay.
Despite the voice of reason from scientists of the day, medical doctors, dress reformers, nineteenth century women continued to cling to advertisements claiming health depended upon corsets and laced tightly to achieve the beautiful figure they desired. Advertisements didn’t promote mere beauty–they went so far as to claim health. A newspaper article published in Chicago Daily Tribune of Chicago, Illinois, on April 24, 1897 spoke of Roentgen’s Light–X-rays–and the malformation caused by lacing. Today, the argument seems sound, prudent, and almost laughable that anyone fell for corsets.
September 8th marks the anniversary of the Great Hurricane in 1900, the tremendous storm that struck Galveston, Texas and took approximately 8,000 lives. Despite numerous other hurricanes, blizzards, earthquakes, floods, and tornadoes, the Great Hurricane remains the single-most destructive natural disaster in United States History. This article encapsulates the high points of the storm’s events through two newspaper articles in the week following the storm, a YouTube presentation by a young girl, and quotes from historical sources. This historical event is of import to me personally as I spent many long, hot, sunshiny summer days on Galveston beach.
Corsets are synonymous with the Victorian Era and well-dressed ladies. Corsets were worn by women… and men, adolescent girls, and even children. Maternity corsets existed as did nursing corsets. Unbelievable!