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Subject: ‘Fashion’

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The crinoline

Posted in Absurd, Fashion, Historical articles, History on Friday, 29 April 2016

This edited article about fashion originally appeared in Look and Learn issue number 451 published on 5 September 1970.

Crinolined equestrian, picture, image, illustration

The Crinoline Equestrian

Have you ever wondered why some old houses, even small ones, built during the Victorian era have wide doors? It was not to save bricks, nor was it because the house was built in a more spacious age. It was so that the women of the house could go in and out with their crinolines.

Everything changes in fashion, particularly in women’s fashions, but nothing has changed more through the ages than the shapes and sizes of women’s skirts. At various times they have been long and loose, at others so tight fitting that the wearers could hardly hobble. They have been so huge and flounced and stuffed and padded with petticoats that they must have been a burden to wear, or they have shrunk and shortened until there is hardly anything of them at all. Some people think that the “mini” has had its day. What next, the “maxi” and the “midi”? Then will these more ample garments swell into ultra modern reincarnations of the cumbersome crinoline?

The crinoline first appeared in Paris about the year 1840. It was a wide skirt padded out with horse hair and linen. (“Crinis” is Latin for hair, “linum” for thread.) Previously dresses had been very high-waisted and very straight.

At the start of this fashion skirts were padded out with petticoats. A cool two or three to begin with, but as the competition hotted up for the widest skirt, so did the petticoats, until young ladies at dances were suffering in the swirling midst of 14 petticoats! Once immersed in this sweltering array of linen they just had to stand. They stood in their coaches on the way to the ball, and they stood for refreshments and in between dances. For if they once sat down their crinoline and 14 petticoats would be crumpled and pushed out of shape.

And what a shape they were! Writers of their own time said that women in crinolines looked like tea cosies or bells!

To save weight and heat, attempts were made to stiffen the outerskirt with pneumatic tubes that were blown or pumped up like bicycle tyres. Some dresses had tubes filled with water, but these were disliked for fear of an embarrassing leak. Hoops of rolled horsehair, cane and wire were more popular, although they had the amusing effect of causing the skirt to swing from the waist like a bell, rising at the back if the lady stood too close to a table, rising high in the front if she sat down, and exposing her “ankles” almost to her knees when walking too close to a friend. At last, in 1856, all these problems were solved by the invention of the cage crinoline. The inventor was an ingenious Frenchman. He patented a device of wire spring and tape. There would be as many as 35 hoops in one cage.

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The best pictures from educational trade cards, 103

Posted in Ancient History, Architecture, Best pictures, Educational card, Famous battles, Fashion, Geography, Geology, Historical articles, History, Industry, Invasions, Trade, War on Thursday, 26 November 2015

We have selected three of the best pictures from our large collection of 19th and early 20th century educational trade cards.
The first picture shows Tamburlaine and Bajazeth.

Tamburlaine, picture, image, illustration

Tamburlaine conquers Bajazeth

The second picture shows silk merchants in Ancient Rome.

Silk merchants, picture, image, illustration

Silk merchants in Ancient Rome

The third picture shows a slate quarry.

Slate, picture, image, illustration

Slate and its uses

High-resolution scans of all educational cards can be found in the Look and Learn picture library.

The best pictures from educational trade cards, 91

Posted in America, Animals, Architecture, Arts and Crafts, Best pictures, Famous landmarks, Farming, Fashion, Historical articles, History, Weapons, Wildlife on Thursday, 26 November 2015

We have selected three of the best pictures from our large collection of 19th and early 20th century educational trade cards.
The first picture shows buffalo hunting in North America.

hunt, picture, image, illustration

Hunting buffalo in North America

The second picture shows the Pailou arch in Peking.

Peking, picture, image, illustration

Pailou arch in Peking

The third picture shows Panama Hats being made.

Panama Hats, picture, image, illustration

Panama Hats Being Made

High-resolution scans of all educational cards can be found in the Look and Learn picture library.

The best pictures from educational trade cards, 85

Posted in Art, Artist, Best pictures, Discoveries, Educational card, Exploration, Famous artists, Fashion, Historical articles, History, Leisure, Trade, Transport, Travel on Wednesday, 25 November 2015

We have selected three of the best pictures from our large collection of 19th and early 20th century educational trade cards.
The first picture shows the reception of Vasco da Gama by the Samudiri of Calicut, India, May 1498.

Vasco da Gama, picture, image, illustration

Reception of Vasco da Gama by the Samudiri of Calicut, India, May 1498

The second picture shows men and women on bicycles.

bicycles, picture, image, illustration

Men and women on bicycles

The third picture shows Leonardo da Vinci painting the Mona Lisa.

Mona Lisa, picture, image, illustration

Leonardo da Vinci painting the Mona Lisa

High-resolution scans of all educational cards can be found in the Look and Learn picture library.

The best pictures from educational trade cards, 78

Posted in Ancient History, Architecture, Astronomy, Best pictures, Castles, Discoveries, Educational card, Famous landmarks, Fashion, Heroes and Heroines, Historical articles, History, Legend, Leisure, Music, Religion, Rivers, Royalty, Science, Space on Wednesday, 25 November 2015

We have selected three of the best pictures from our large collection of 19th and early 20th century educational trade cards.
The first picture shows Johannes Kepler and a total eclipse of the Sun.

Keppler, picture, image, illustration

Johannes Kepler and a total eclipse of the Sun

The second picture shows Sciarra Colonna slapping Pope Boniface VIII across the face, 1303.

Colonna, picture, image, illustration

Sciarra Colonna slapping Pope Boniface VIII across the face, 1303

The third picture shows King Arthur’s Round Table.

King Arthur, picture, image, illustration

King Arthur's Round Table

High-resolution scans of all educational cards can be found in the Look and Learn picture library.

The best pictures from educational trade cards, 77

Posted in Best pictures, British Countryside, Castles, Educational card, Famous battles, Famous crimes, Fashion, Historical articles, History, Invasions, Legend, Leisure, Mystery, Nature, Plants, Travel, War on Wednesday, 25 November 2015

We have selected three of the best pictures from our large collection of 19th and early 20th century educational trade cards.
The first picture shows the capture of Peking by the Mongols in 1215.

Mongols, picture, image, illustration

Capture of Peking by the Mongols, 1215

The second picture shows Bluebeard’s wife succumbing to temptation and unlocking the forbidden room.

Bluebeard's wife, picture, image, illustration

Bluebeard's wife succumbs to temptation and unlocks the forbidden room

The third picture shows a picnic in Epping Forest.

picnic, picture, image, illustration

The Picnic, Epping Forest

High-resolution scans of all educational cards can be found in the Look and Learn picture library.

The best pictures from educational trade cards, 60

Posted in Architecture, Best pictures, Education, Educational card, Famous Composers, Fashion, Historical articles, History, Law, Leisure, Music, Oddities, Royalty, Sinners, Theatre on Wednesday, 25 November 2015

We have selected three of the best pictures from our large collection of 19th and early 20th century educational trade cards.
The first picture shows Wagner at the villa Wesendonck in Zurich.

Wagner, picture, image, illustration

Wagner at the villa Wesendonck in Zurich

The second picture shows Queen Elizabeth I.

Queen Elizabeth I, picture, image, illustration

Queen Elizabeth I

The third picture shows a morality tale: alcoholism suppresses all moral strength and leads to suicide.

suicide, picture, image, illustration

Alcoholism suppresses all moral strength and leads to suicide

High-resolution scans of all educational cards can be found in the Look and Learn picture library.

The best pictures from educational trade cards, 56

Posted in Ancient History, Animals, Arts and Crafts, Best pictures, Educational card, Fashion, Heroes and Heroines, Historical articles, History, Leisure, Politics, Royalty, Sport, Trade on Wednesday, 25 November 2015

We have selected three of the best pictures from our large collection of 19th and early 20th century educational trade cards.
The first picture shows Napoleon in exile on St Helena.

Napoleon, picture, image, illustration

Napoleon in exile on St Helena

The second picture shows Sicilian craftsmen make umbrellas.

umbrellas, picture, image, illustration

Sicilian craftsmen make umbrellas

The third picture shows Horse racing in Rome.

Horse racing, picture, image, illustration

Horse racing in Rome

High-resolution scans of all educational cards can be found in the Look and Learn picture library.

The best pictures from educational trade cards, 43

Posted in Best pictures, Customs, Dance, Educational card, Famous news stories, Fashion, Geography, Geology, Historical articles, History, Leisure, London, Music, Politics, Railways, Religion, Transport, Travel on Tuesday, 24 November 2015

We have selected three of the best pictures from our large collection of 19th and early 20th century educational trade cards.
The first picture shows traditional Pentecost celebrations in Russia.

Russia, picture, image, illustration

Traditional Pentecost celebrations in Russia

The second picture shows the Vesuvius funicular railway in Italy.

Vesuvius, picture, image, illustration

Vesuvius funicular railway, Italy

The third picture shows Gladstone defending his policy for Irish Home Rule in the House of Commons.

Gladstone, picture, image, illustration

Gladstone defending his policy for Irish Home Rule in the House of Commons

High-resolution scans of all educational cards can be found in the Look and Learn picture library.

The best pictures from educational trade cards, 41

Posted in America, Architecture, Best pictures, Communications, Dance, Educational card, Fairy Tale, Famous Composers, Famous landmarks, Famous news stories, Fashion, Heroes and Heroines, Historical articles, History, Institutions, Royalty, Transport, Travel on Tuesday, 24 November 2015

We have selected three of the best pictures from our large collection of 19th and early 20th century educational trade cards.
The first picture shows Harlequin and other characters from Die Puppenfee (The Fairy Doll), a ballet by the Austrian composer Josef Bayer.

Die Puppenfee, picture, image, illustration

Die Puppenfee (The Fairy Doll), a ballet by the Austrian composer Josef Bayer

The second picture shows Wilhelm I proclaimed Emperor of Germany in Versailles, 1871.

Wilhelm I, picture, image, illustration

Wilhelm I proclaimed Emperor of Germany in Versailles, 1871

The third picture shows a New York street with elevated railway.

New York, picture, image, illustration

A New York street – elevated railway

High-resolution scans of all educational cards can be found in the Look and Learn picture library.