We were surprised to find that one of the most popular museum objects [in our online collections] was not something of great monetary value, such as a work of art or a piece of furniture, but a humble eighteenth-century homespun corset.The collections database currently includes 34,000 images and more than 130,000 records.
Why? It turns out that a website, larsdatter.com, which lists material culture available on the web, posted a link to the corset [on its page about women’s stays and corsets]. This caused a flurry of hits as word spread—presumably among the electronic community of people who make authentic costumes for theater and re-enactors, and who prize rare survivals like this for the historical evidence they contain.
Here’s another set of stays from colonial New England, this one made for a child and preserved at the Pocumtuck Valley Historical Association in Deerfield, Massachusetts.