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Sunday, 20 July 2014


The corset has been around since Neolithic times when women wore laced bodices made of animal hides.

The fashion for the corset is attributed to Catherine de Médicis, wife of King Henry II of France. In the 1550's she enforced a ban on thick waists at court attendance's and started over 350 years of whalebones, steel rods and midriff torture.

In the 16th century, corsets showed a person’s social standing and, at the French court, no lady-in-waiting was allowed a waist of more than 13 inches.

The authoress Louisa Alcott protested against the corset.

Queen Victoria lamented  the 19th century fashion for the waist being whittled away by the corset into the space that could fit between a man’s hands.

Some Victorian physicians argued that women needed corsets to support their internal organs.

Corsets were often made with whalebone. In the 1800s, the baleen whale was crucial to corset-making.

Ladies wore corsets, which would lace up in the front. A proper and dignified woman, as in 'straight laced' wore a tightly tied lace.

World War I dealt the corset a fatal blow when the American War Industries Board called on women to stop buying corsets in 1917, freeing up some 28,000 tons of metal!

Source Inventors.about.

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