Corsets Through Time

These corsets represent a sampling of what women wore.  The good, the exotic, the heroic.  I am in awe of the beauty and passion they created.

Sixteenth Century
Seventeenth Century
Eighteenth Century
Nineteenth Century
Twentieth Century

This is by no means all the corsets there are.  I have pictures and pictures and pictures.   What I have tried to do is to take artist's drawings and pair them with the corsets that I have found over time.  Any or all of these could be wrong, but I've worked with what I have.  Much information comes from Rober Doyle's Waisted Efforts and other drawings come from Robert Graf's Dress-Sire Corset Page.  Many thanks to both these gentlemen.

You know, I get real annoyed with ebayers sometimes.  People will define a corset as Victorian just because it is a corset.  So webpages should educated people.  Some definitions:

Jacksonian - refers to the American 1830's.
Victorian - refers to the period in England from 1837-1901 (the reign of Queen Victoria).
Ante Bellum - literally meaning "before war," refers to the period before the American Civil war.  Figure it means between the 1840's and 1865.
Reconstruction Era - after the American Civil war.  1865 - 1877.
Belle Epoque - sources vary, but most begin this time period in the 1890's.  Can refer to both American and French costume.
Edwardian - refers to Prince Albert Edward (later king) of England's reign.  You can date this either as 1901 - 1911, or from the time of his father's death.  This is the beginning of the Gibson Girl look.
Vintage - used indescriminantly.  Most refer to vintage clothing, however, as more recent, such as the 1940's - 1980's.  Gods that makes me feel old.
A note about ribbon corsets: Originally, ribbon corsets were worn on the *outside* of clothing.  This accentuated how small a woman's waist was.  I wish that I could capture the picture of Ima Hogg when she was young in her full Victorian regalia, complete with ribbon corset.  But you can watch the streaming video about her life and see what I mean.