Housewife corset was a must-have item for domestic engineering in 1911

100 Years Ago

Cruel Corset


A large ad in the Times showed a woman washing clothes on a scrub board with the headline: "Baltimore's best store: Hochschild, Kohn &, Co. ; Housework is easy in a 'Housewife' corset."

"The Housewife Corset (shown in right hand corner) is an exclusive Hochscild, Kohn & Co. corset. It was brought out in response to the popular demand for comfortable, durable, inexpensive corset which would enable the housewife to perform her household duties with perfect ease, and still preserve her figure. The Housewife Corset is made of extra strong batiste, double-boned; it is cut away under the arm, permitting perfect freedom of movement. ... In all sizes from 18 to 30."


Like it wasn't enough to have to use a washboard to clean clothes, you had to look good doing it! It must have been a great experience, washing clothes and scrubbing floors with whale bones poking your ribs. Perhaps the idea was, that by the end of the day, the corset was strong enough to hold up a drooping, exhausted housewife who otherwise would have collapsed in a corner like a rag doll.

75 Years Ago

Dictator digest

In the "Washington Digest" section of the Times was a column by William Bruckart concerning growing problems overseas:

"The Associated Press carried a dispatch from Moscow a few days ago that had more in it than just the announcement that certain oppositionists among Soviet leaders were to be executed. The dispatch reported that 16 confessed conspirators against the Soviet state were sentenced to death by the firing squad as "the highest measure of social defense" of a government."

It reported a new stage of the so-called progress of Communism in the Russian state. For the first time since the Bolsheviks came into power they ordered the death penalty for some of the leaders who marched in the Revolution of October, 1917. So we have a clean sweep now of the men who sat next to the dictator, Lenin: the men who were his closest advisors in council are out of the way, and in their place remains the extensively practical and strong-willed executive, Stalin, who has in this instance declined to allow theory to interfere with a condition. ... ." He goes on to write of the Trotsky-Stalin relationship:

"So the Stalin-Trotsky feud, as it has turned out to be, has become ferocious and anyone who has gone contrary - even entertained thoughts contrary to the will of the might Stalin - committed a sin against the state. And a sin against the Russian state under Stalin means to disappear.

It seems to me that there is an important lesson for the American people in this situation. Stalin, along with Hitler and Mussolini, is always right. It matters not what the people may desire, what their philosophy of life and living may be, how they propose to encourage or accept responsibility for self-government, the dictatorship continues.

Many times in these columns I have criticized bureaucracy in the federal government. There are so many bureaucrats in Washington now that someone has bitterly described them as locusts. It may seem quite a jump from bureaucracy to dictatorship but he difference actually is very small. ... .

There are conditions undoubtedly that need to be remedied before our form of government is anything like perfect. There is always to be considered changing conditions and whims of the people themselves. But I entertain the conviction that so long as the American people are unwilling to accord increasing powers to the federal government, the nation as a whole will go forward, civilization will progress and we will enjoy having a government."

Stalin's Great Purge also decimated the Russian military, not long before they would become our allies in a much larger "feud" called World War II. Leon Trotsky, who played a major role in the Bolshevik revolution, didn't survive Stalin either. It was this year, 1936, that Trotsky was exiled from the Soviet Union. Four years later he was assassinated at his home in Mexico City by a luncheon guest, who was an undercover Soviet secret policeman.

Like Stalin, Trotsky didn't find his birth name useful for his purposes. So he changed his name from Lev Davidovich Bronstein to Leon Trotsky. (He would later take another name, his second wife's "Sedov" to shield his sons, but didn't use it much. That wife was murdered in a purge in 1938.)


Satlin's given name was Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili, but he chose to use "Stalin" which in Russian means "steel."

50 Years Ago

News from Highridge

"Mr. George Mitchell and Mr. Adam Kahler of Guilford Road were afternoon guests last Friday of Mrs. John Wessel."

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