Can there be anything much more frightening than the phrase Electric Corset?
Images of high voltage traversing the steel boning as women twitch and try to stand up a bit straighter, suck that tummy in more, and try not to pass out, all pass through my mind’s eye…
The electric corset which first appeared in advertisements in the 1870s and over the next few years was “improved” was designed for health purposes.
Now here’s an Unhealthy Obsession with Beauty Products.
“By wearing these perfectly designed Corsets the most awkward figure becomes graceful and elegant, the internal organs are speedily strengthened, THE CHEST IS AIDED IN ITS HEALTHY DEVELOPMENT, and the entire system is invigorated.”
Err, the twitching doesn’t sound graceful at all or invigorating… or am I crazy?
…Does anyone else hear that buzzing noise?
These two ads for Dr. Scott’s Electric Corsets & Belts (American) were published in The Bulletin in 1885.
“These belts,” Dr. George Scott claimed, “are constructed on scientific principles, generating an exhilarating, health giving current to the whole system… they also become, when constantly worn, equalizing agents in all cases of extreme fatness or leanness, by imparting to the system the required amount of ‘odic force’ which Nature’s law demands.” One satisfied customer was Mrs. Abbie Monroe of London, Ontario. “Dr. Scott,” she wrote, “I have suffered for years; tried eminent physicians without benefit; yet your Electric Corset has quickly restored me to good health. I cannot praise them too highly and will never wear any other. I would not part with mine for $50.” Everyone else could get theirs straight from Dr. Scott–for just $3.
Research shows that these corsets were not really electric but rather contained magnetized iron rods, but Scott apparently preferred using the term “electric”.
Now that is shocking :p
Who knows why — quack medicine is a wonder.