New York: The Ferris Bros. Co., 1905. First edition of this catalogue for the Ferris corset waist, “a health garment in which you feel well, a beautiful garment in which you look well, for ladies, misses, and children.” OCLC records one copy (New Jersey Historical Society). With over forty illustrations and photo reproductions of women and children (both boys and girls) modeling various styles of corset waists. Wrappers somewhat soiled. One leaf loose and laid in at original position. A very good copy of this rare fashion catalogue. Original printed paper wrappers with photo reproduction of a young woman modeling a waist on front cover. 4 in. x 7 in. 36 pp. Item #17052
The present item advertises dozens of different styles of these corset waists, according to the age of the wearer and their activities. Corset waists similar in appearance to tank tops are advertised for children as young as six months old; the “equipoise” waists, intended to give the wearer “that unconscious air of ease so charming in graceful women,” are advertised to adult women and older teens. Waist styles include those for athletics, hot weather, maternity, and nursing, as well as different styles for wear under clothes with different cuts.
The Ferris Good Sense waists “were considered healthier and more progressive than the traditional waists for girls and young women because they did not cinch in the waistline too tightly and, for the most part, they abandoned the custom of using whale bone or steel stays that actually did harm to developing bodies,” (Historical Boys’ Clothing online archive). The Ferris Company was founded in 1878 with branches in New York and San Francisco.