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Pretty Housemaid Corset, 1890
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Pretty Housemaid Corset, 1890

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Pretty Housemaid Corset, 1890
Woman's Pretty Housemaid corset made by the Symington company. A best seller of its time, made of twill lined with coutil.Features spoon busk, busk protector and cording across the hips. Deliberately targeted at young women in domestic service.

The "Pretty Housemaid" corset was produced by the Symington company and was one of the best-selling corsets of its day. It was advertised as the "strongest and cheapest corset ever made".

The corset is made from a green/brown twill which has been lined with a beige coutil and interlined with hessian. Support is provided by cording across the hips and down the front, with minimal whaleboning. The corset is also fitted with a busk protector, which stopped the busk front from weakening and eventually breaking as the wearer stooped or bent over.

The way the "Pretty Housemaid" corset was made and marketed shows that the Symington company were directly targeting young women in domestic service, which was then the largest employment sector in Britain. It demonstrates that young, working class women were a recognised consumer group with a small disposable income and an interest in fashion.
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  • Symington
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