Friday, August 6, 2010

19th century underthings

From the collection of the Franklin County Historical and Museum Society (1980.309.1):

Cage crinoline, ca. 1858

W.S. Thompson patented the cage crinoline in the late 1850s (patent US21581), which was quickly adopted by women of all social classes.   This modest bell-shaped crinoline is an earlier style, with the enormous widths peaking around 1860 and styles shifting to a flat front and bulbous back by the late 1860s.

From the Malone Palladium, January 26, 1865:

According to an 1893 article in The Adirondack News, a bill was introduced in the NYS Assembly banning the sale, loan or wearing of hoopskirts and crinolines as they took up too much space and were an "annoyance and inconvenience."  The article goes on to say:
"Mr. Smith read a statement to the effect that he did not introduce the bill in any spirit of levity, but to call the attention of women of common sense to the silly demands of fashion. He trusted the first lady of the land would not lend her countenance to the fashion, simply because it might be taken up at the queen's drawing room."

1 comment:

  1. The thing that modern people don't appreciate, and apparently neither did they men trying to ban them, was that a hoop took the place of layers upon layers of petticoats and in comparison was much lighter and easier to manage. The choice wasn't at that time hoops or nothing, it was hoops or starched petticoats and the hoops won easily. :-)