Corsets for Everyone

This poetic advertisement ran in the newspaper back in 1885:

How dear to my heart is the “Comfort Hip” Corset,
A well moulded figure ‘twas made to adorn,
I’m sure, as an elegant, close fitting corset,
It lays over all makes I ever have worn.
Oh, my! with delight it is driving me crazy,
The feelings that thrill me no language can tell;
Just look at its shape, — oh, ain’t it a daisy!
The “Comfort Hip” corset that fits me so well.
The close fitting corset – the “Lock Clasp” corset –
The “Comfort Hip” corset that fits me so well.

It clings to my waist so tightly and neatly,
Its fair rounded shape shows no wrinkle or fold;
It fits this plump figure of mine as completely
As if I’d been melted and poured in its mould.
How fertile the mind that was moved to design it,
Such comfort pervades each depression and swell,
The waist would entice a strong arm to entwine it, —
The waist of this corset that fits me so will.
The close fitting corset, — the “Lock Clasp” corset –
The “Comfort Hip” corset that fits me so well.

Of course I will wear it to parties and dances,
And gentlemen there will my figure admire!
The ladies will throw me envious glances,
And that’s just the state of affairs I desire;
For feminine envy and male admiration
Proclaim that their object’s considered a belle.
Oh, thou art of beauty – the fair consummation –
My “comfort Hip” corset that fits me so well.
The Five-Hook corset – the “Lock Clasp” corset –
The “Comfort Hip” corset that fits me so well.

The News (Frederick, Maryland) Dec 19, 1885

Saved By a Corset Steel.

Missouri Republican Last Saturday Mrs. Lucy Moore, aged twenty-one years, and a Mrs. Miller were among the passengers on the Santa Fe train coming to El Paso. About seventy miles north of El Paso, the train stopped in the open prairie on account of a hot journal. Mrs. Miller has a revolver that she had loaded for some time, and as she had tried in vain to pick out the cartridges, she thought it a good time to fire them off to empty the chambers. She fired several shots just at random, and then snapped the pistol three times. After the last shot she thought it was empty and went to picking out the shells when the weapon went off, the bullet striking Mrs. Moore in the pit of the stomach. The wounded woman was brought to El Paso. A medical examination showed that the corset had acted as a chain armor. The bullet struck a corset steel and was turned to the right, apparently causing only a flesh wound.

The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Jan 6, 1888

Mrs. Robert Hintze, of 3606 Vincence avenue, Chicago, formerly Miss Jennie Gillet, of Fond du Lac, was badly injured by the bursting of one of the pipes of her kitchen range. The explosion resulted in badly lacerating her face, and she is in great danger of losing one of her eyes. A piece of iron struck her over the stomach, and would have probably caused fatal injury but for the resistance of a corset steel.

The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Jan 5, 1888

Saved by Her Corset.

CHICAGO, Aug. 14 — Lillie Vale, who was shot by her lover, George Slosson in a Washington street saloon Sunday night, will not die. The ball struck a whalebone in her corset and glanced off, inflicting a serious but not fatal wound.

The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Aug 14, 1888

Her Corset Saved Her.

New York, Jul 6 00 John Billses, out of pure patriotic devilment fired a loaded revolver into a crowd on James street yesterday. A bullet struck Mrs. Oliver Fairly in the waist but glanced off without doing her any injury. Her steel corset saved her life. John is held for trial.

The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Jul 6, 1888

Bright Bits

Motto for a corset factory — “We have come to stay.”

The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Dec 20 1886

FRIVOLITIES.

No woman ever went to a corset shop for a stay of proceedings.

The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Jun  4, 1886

A New York lady has invented a corset which will squeeze a woman to death in five minutes if she feels like suicide.

The Fitchburg Sentinel (Ftichburg, Massachusetts) Oct 11, 1873

Why does a widow feel her bereavement less when she wears corsets? Because then she’s solaced.

The Fitchburg Sentinel (Fitchburg, Massachusetts) May 4, 1872

COMICAL CUTS.

The corset cannot be abolished; it is woman’s main-stay.

The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) May 15, 1888

How to Put on a Corset.

The San Francisco Chronicle is responsible for the following amusing description of an examination by a coroner’s jury, where the coroner desired to show the course taken by the ball, and for this purpose produced the corsets worn by Mrs. Burkhart, at the time of the tragedy:

“You see,” said he — and here he drew the corsets around his waist lacings in front — “the ball must have gone here from behind. No, that can’t be either, for the doctor says the ball went in front. Confound it, I’ve got in on wrong. Ah! this way.” (Here the coroner put them on upside down.) “Now you see,” pointing to the hole in the garment, which rested directly over his hip, “the ball must have gone in here. No, that can’t be either, for” —

Here Mr. Mather, the handsomest man on the jury broke in —

“Dr. Stillman,” said he, “you’ve got the corset on wrong.”

Here Dr. Stillman blushed like a puppy.

“Well,” said he, “I’ve been married twice, and ought to know how to rig a corset.”

“Yes,” said Mr. Mather, “but you don’t. You had it right in the first place. The strings go in front, and the ladies clasp them together in the back. Don’t I know, I think I ought to; I’ve been married. If you doubt it, look here, (pointing to the fullness at the top.) How do you suppose that’s going to be filled up unless you put it on as I suggest?”

“That,” said Dr. Stillman; “why, that goes over the hops.”

“No, it don’t,” said Mr. Mather; “that fullness goes somewhere else — this way;” and here Mr. Mather indicated where he thought the fullness ought to go.

At this a pale faced young man with a voice like a robin, and a note book under his arm, said he thought the ladies always clasped their corsets on the side. The pale faced young man said this very innocently, as if he wished to convey the impression that he knew nothing whatever of the matter. The jury laughed the pale faced young man to scorn, and one of them intimated that he thought the young man was not half so green about women’s dress as he tried to appear. The young man was a reporter, and it is, therefore, exceedingly probable that this knowledge was fully as limited as was apparent from his suggestion, the jury to the contrary notwithstanding.

Here another juryman discovered that Dr. Stillman had the corset on bottom side up.

“Doctor,” said he, “put it on the other way.”
Then the doctor put it on in reverse order, with the lacings in front. This brought the bullet holes directly over the tails of his coat.

“I don’t think,” said Mr. Mather, “that the bullet went in there, doctor.”

“No, I don’t think it did,” was the reply. “Confound it. It’s mighty funny — six married men in this room and not one that knows how to put on a woman’s corset.”

Here the Chronicles reporter, who has several sisters and always keeps his eyes open, advanced and convinced Dr. Stillman and Mr. Mather, after much argument, that the lacings of the corsage go behind, and that the garment is clasped in front. After this explanation the course of the bullet was readily traced, and found to bear out the explanation afforded by the two physicians.

The Fitchburg Sentinel (Fitchburg, Massachuetts) Jun 12, 1874

Corsets for Men.

The corset is becoming more and more a necessity of the ultra-fashionable man’s toilet, says a New York paper. The latest style of corsets for men look more than anything else like a large-sized belt curved for the hips, and are about ten inches wide. They are made of the same material as a woman’s corset, but whalebones are used instead of steel for the purpose of giving shape to them. They are usually laced at the back and are faced in front by means of eleven small elastic bands. The elastic is used so as to give perfect freedom of motion.

“How much do these corsets cost?” was asked of a manufacturer.

“The corset-wearers pay all the way from $2.50 to $20 a pair, and they are very particular not to say cranky, about the fit of them.”

“What class of men wear them?”

“The men who wear them are, in the first place, the fashionable young fellows around town, who are intent on being known for their handsome figures, and who do everything they can to increase the size of their shoulders and diminish the size of their waist. Outside of these the wearers of them are military men and stout men who find themselves growing too corpulent for gracefulness. Actors often wear them, and among the actors who are addicted to this sort of thing Kyrle Bellow and Herbert Kelsey are most frequently quoted. These men, it’s said, “secure corsets from a theatrical costumer instead of the fashionable furnishing-goods men on Broadway.”

The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) May 10, 1890

Now they are talking of corsets for men. Some people will go any length to get tight.

Modesto Evening News (Modesto, California) Feb 13, 1923

Not content with one external revolt, there are those devotees to style who are advocating (no fooling) corsets for men.

“What’s this country coming to, anyway?” the writer heard one man asking another in conversation. “There’s no dispute on the point that ‘co-worked’ form would be the corset wearer’s, but the real mission of the corset would be to shape the wearer’s career.”

And all this climaxes an announcement at the Mercantile Exposition (in the broadest sense) that corsets practically are going to be taboo with “madame who wishes to be right in style,” figuratively speaking.

And, in the words of the gentleman quoted above, there is cause to wonder “if man really is to become the unwitting victim of the law of compensation, because somebody [has] to wear the darn things.”

Modesto Evening News (Modesto, California) Aug 10, 1923

An Electric Corset.

Paris is laughing over a joke about an American inventor who is said to have patented an electric corset that is to bring about the reign of morality at once. If one of these articles is pressed by a lover’s arm it at once emits a shriek like the whistle of a railway engine; and the inventor claims that he has already married three of his daughters, owing to the publicity thus thrust upon a backward lover.

Daily Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada) Jul 16, 1891

A Few Words About Electric Appliances.

ALBERT LEA, May 28th, 1886 — W.S. Jackson — DEAR SIR: Previous to wearing Dr. Scott’s Electric corset I was troubled with severe pains in my back and shoulders, and after using one for only two weeks the pain has entirely disappeared. I would not part with it for four times its cost.

MISS BERTHA REIMER

Freeborn County Standard (Albert Lea, Minnesota) Jun 16, 1886

Every Mail brings us Testimonials like the following:

Memphis, Tenn., November 28.
Dr. Scott’s Electric Corsets have given me much relief, I suffered four years with breast trouble, without finding any benefit from other remedies. They are invaluable.

MRS. JAS. CAMPBELL.

*****

De Witt, N.Y., June 11.
I have an invalid sister who has not been dressed for a year. She has worn Dr. Scott’s Electric Corsets for two weeks, and is now able to be dressed and sit up most of the time.

MELVA J. DOE.

Daily Democratic Times (Lima, Ohio) Sep 29, 1886

Even children should wear corsets! Be a sensible mother — get your child a corset so she can be beautiful.

The Salem Daily News (Salem, Ohio) Aug 26, 1890

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2 Responses to “Corsets for Everyone”

  1. Karen Thrower Says:

    i love corsets….i have two questions that i need an answer to…1.do they still make corsets like that and 2.wher can you buy them at…please answer me it is greatley appreciated.

  2. How a Corset Save My Life-A Just For Fun Blog | Orchard Corset Blog Says:

    […] across this site while looking for some historical pictures of corsets-and found it very amusing. YesterYear Once More has many fun and interesting historical ads, pictures and articles on more than just corsets. I […]

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