Photo Friday: It must be a “wind-up”

20140110 [Machine for winding up the ladies]

Hoping to hide a few holiday pounds?  Perhaps a corset is the answer…

This week’s Photo Friday comes from the Liddell Hart Collection of Costume, and is a satirical coloured etching showing a woman being tightly laced into her corset; “A correct view of the new machine for winding up the ladies”. 

Published by Thomas McLean, the likely artist of this illustration is William Heath (1795-1840), working under the pseudonym Paul Pry.  This is evidenced by the small drawing of the actor Liston in the role of Paul Pry, a character who interfered in other peoples’ business in John Poole’s eponymous comedy (1825), in the bottom left hand corner of the page.  Heath used this emblem from 1827, but it led to such widespread plagiarism that he abandoned it in 1829. 

The etching was collected by Sir Basil Liddell Hart along with a number of other satirical and topical cartoons from the nineteenth century, and can be found on our Library Catalogue in a folder of cartoons (741.5 CAR).  There are also a number of books and a scrapbook on the subject of corsets within the Liddell Hart Collection of Costume, and access to this material is by arrangement with the LJMU Archivist.

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