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Child's stays

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Women and girls wore "stays" or corsets. In addition to insuring that a young girl's back would be straight; corsets and stays provided support to the torso when carrying heavy things such as children, milk buckets, cast iron cooking pots, firewood, etc.. They also created the desired silhouette for the time period. Girls started wearing corsets when quite young. The corset pictured here dates from the 18th century and would be called "stays". These stays are for a toddler and are stiffened with cardboard rather than whalebone or metal.


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