Death by Corset? Bring Out Your Dead and Other Notions!


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Ever hear of death by corset? According to one tall local tale a pretty twenty-two year-old was sitting in church when she was suddenly taken ill and carried out of the church to the minister’s house. Unfortunately, before her friends got to her she was already dead. Her cause of death?—her corset was too tightly laced.


In a time when dentures were made from the teeth of the recently deceased, there was talk that there was great physical benefits of wearing a corset: Two women have mentioned in stories I have read that that wearing a corset has helped improve their asthma. The upper lungs and bronchi may not be fully open or utilized with very poor posture, and correcting posture using a corset may help to open up the chest, relax the windpipe and allow easier breathing. *asthmatics please consult with your doctor before trying a corset, as not everyone has the same experience

Death by burns for women were caused by a combination of open hearth cooking and the use of highly flammable fabrics in their clothes.Wearing corsets (even under your clothing, so no one is the wiser) was said to help you climb the corporate ladder, earn respect of yourself and your peers, help you understand how to make better economic purchases and help you appreciate the finer things in life – even if relatively nothing else in your life has changed. Were women really climbing the corporate ladder in those days? More like a library ladder.


If they heard a clap of thunder following a burial it indicated that the soul of the departed had reached heaven– or other noises might have been caused by a too tight corset. For those questionable noises try minimizing gas productions when wearing a corset. If social situations allow for it, and you feel that you’re going to burp or pass wind, just go for it. Your body has this function for a reason, and trust me, you’ll physically feel better for it.


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St James Cemtery Ghost Walk Event Page- October 28th


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Old Wives Tales of Death — Our Haunted Heritage

Funerals With Dignity in Carleton Place – Just a Surrey with a Fringe on Top —- Our Haunted Heritage

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

10 responses »

  1. My maternal grandma always thought women who didn’t wear corsets were of the fallen variety. This included me, as I didn’t wear them. She never used the suspenders for her stockings, but wore garters. Her underwear was layers of corset, vest, bra, enormous pink knickers that went to her knees, slip and garters. Watching her undress and get into a voluminous nightie was something to behold. My paternal grandma was also a corset wearer. Buying one was an event. You had to make an appointment, get measured and fitted. It was one of those female rights of passage. They were supposed to last forever. Probably many of them and their pink laces are mouldering in dump sites somewhere. Akin to plastic, they have many years of decomposition.


      • Since they sagged round her hips and waist it wasn’t about a fashion statement but morals. These things were a weird colour of salmon pink with side, front and back laces. Why they wore these things were a mystery to me. They all wore them, my grandmas, my great aunts, the ladies in the woman’s union. Challenging the corset was up there with challenging the low ( not high) Anglican Church and the empire. Lol.


      • I stole her wedding outfit to my parents wedding, it was gorgeous. We should get together about the social significance of woman’s underwear as a social, political statement of morals, public opinion,and sexuality through the ages. Unless of course some boring feminist has already done this to get tenure.


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