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Like many women, I need my underwear, however, I do not want its presence advertised either visibly or audibly. Again, I must add that had the corset been designed for me, I would have had the front cut longer above the waist so that the bending manoeuvre would not be as easy.

One's corsets should never draw attention to themselves in this fashion left. It's a shame since Jenyns have gone to considerable trouble to disguise the straps and webbing that are always a problem with the fan-lacers.

The buckles, and neat little loops ensure that the webbing lies close to the corset. Jenyns' unique way of securing the straps by fitting a lace-hole over a small spigot sewn to the side of the corset was innovative and it works.

Jenyns Side-Lacing Corset This is an incredibly powerful garment. The front length is sufficient to avoid the perils mentioned above. Note the inordinate number of lace holes running the length of the garment. Jenyns lacked the mechanical pulley effect of Camp and compensated by sheer number of laces!

No problem with the corset length here. Short corsets were a problem with the latter-day Camps as inexperienced fitters grabbed what was left on the shelves as the British end of the company slowly went broke. Invariably, the remaining corsets were the left-overs, the odd sizes that had resisted a decade or more of uncomfortable fitings. Again, the convergent evolution of disparate corset companies becomes apparent in these Jenyns Orthopaedic supports below.

In contrast to Camp's mainstream offerings, Jenyns often managed to insert just a touch of femininity. The two gratuitous panels of satin on the are there, simply to remind the wearer that although she must don the 'contraption' each day as the old ladies used to call them , at least there were some pretty female touches.

Unlike Camp, Jenyns opts for the front fan-lacing. Despite their similarities, Camp never used front fan-lacing. I wonder if there was a Jenyns patent involved? On the outrageous 'special' left that measures an alarming 23 inches long, the under-belt, once again, is trimmed in satin.

For this immobilising device, Jenyns reverted to back-lacing. I'm not sure if this was what the corset was actually called; the label reads a more prosaic. It showed that Jenyns and Camp could produce a serious garment and yet make it in heavy grade corset satin with exquisite little touches of lace, and suspender flashes.

The Jenyns Satin Corset. This surely must be the flagship of the Jenyns corset company. Amazingly, Camp below right had a similar idea, but the Jenyns elevates the style to a higher plane with exquisite lace details, the apron front and the suspender flashes. These are details that Camp overlooked, although their 'top range' corset is another stunning example of the corset-maker's craft.

The suspenders on the Jenyns are interesting. The front ones are painted metal with moulded rubber grommets which come from the 70's or 80's, however, the rear suspenders, have the traditional metal pin in the centre of the grommet; a 50's - 60's feature.

The garment is completely original and unmodified. I suspect, that in the 's, when Jenyns was sadly in terminal decline, that the seamstresses used supplies of old stock rather than order afresh. I believe that the corset dates from the mid's. This immaculate, unworn example must have been one of the last ever made.

We are very lucky to have such beautiful pieces in the Ivy Leaf Collection. I was corrected here by none other than Ken Jenyns who visited us in The elastic on this garment is from the 's having a high latex content.

It may be that the owner replaced the front suspenders for a flusher, newer design. The Jenyns corset modelled in by members of the calendar team.

Three Jenyns and one Camp. At the Melbourne cup in the 's and 's, many a flat stomached matron owed her remarkably good figure to these wonderful corsets. When jet travel to the Antipodes became more common, a number of these corsets found their way back to the old country as Grandma, returning to Bexhill with fond memories of her offspring and a token Koala soft toy for the mantelpiece, would also be carrying a few years' supply of Jenyns, definitely not for display!

Letters from Jenyns Wearers. Letter from a Jenyns Wearer 1. Your site has brought back many memories from during and after the war years in England.

They wouldn't do without them, but on days like today when it is so hot 38 o C Dec they do suffer. Jenyns have now gone out of business, and at the end were basically surgical suppliers.

One of the ladies is a Miss H. We had quite a chat recently and she invited me to visit her, as she had some Jenyns catalogues to pass on. I met up with Miss H. She is a very pleasant lady and made me most welcome. When I arrived the front door was open, I rang the bell and she called me in. She was sitting at a large table in the lounge which had on it five or six old Jenyns corsets and she was re-lacing one of them in the hope that she would have at least one that she could use.

She had started wearing corsets just before the war after a riding accident and had worn them ever since. For such a lady, who has worn corsets for over 65 years, it will be impossible to do without. Sadly, the manufacture of corsets is dying out as the profit margins have long gone. Maybe with a burgeoning older class of 'baby boomers' this loss of knowledge may yet turn out to haunt us.

Letter from a Jenyns Wearer 2. As a long time resident of Brisbane eighty years and counting! I was delighted to read your well informed article on the Jenyns company. My sisters and I bought our corsets from their Fortitude Valley Outlet for almost half a century until they closed a few years ago was it really as long ago as , as your article states? Contrary to popular belief, Australia was until relatively recently a very old fashioned and straight laced place.

We were always taught there was absolutely no excuse for a lady to not to always look her best and firm foundations were accepted as a natural part of life. Australia liked to think of itself as the best corseted country in the world and until the s even the slenderest of teenagers wore a zippered step-in, and their mothers something rather more substantial. I obtained my first Jenyns shortly after the war when I commenced work at David Jones a well known department store in Brisbane.

A great deal of standing up was required, and a few years later I moved up to the Dorsal Lumbar Support. You are correct that when leaning forward an unsightly and rather draughty ridge appears. I have worn the Jenyns Side-Lacing Corset since the mid sixties, which although heavier, gives a snugger fit and is generally more comfortable and quite easy to put on. The standing up all day meant that by my late twenties support stockings had become a fact of life.

Surgical stockings seemed to be fairly common in the decades after the war, and they were not particularly frowned upon, although at David Jones they did expect you to put something more fashionable over the top. If this was required, one needed two sets of suspenders, as the two pairs of stockings were seldom the same length or weight. You either sewed on extras, or wore a suspender belt or corselette over your corset.

I still own six wearable Jenyns corsets, plus two Spirella corsets I bought while on holiday in England in the early s, none younger than a decade! How nice it is to think that some things are made to last.

In another letter, she elaborates on her first corset experience. I remember very well my first corset. I the week before I left school and started at David Jones, we rode on the tram from Wooloongabba to Fortitude Valley both inner city suburbs of Brisbane to the Jenyns outlet.

After the measuring, the trying on, and I remember the hard, grippy hug of that first corset and the rising thrill as I watched its effect in a full-length mirror. My torso kinked dramatically into my waistline, my spine straightened and stretched, I lifted my chin in an automatic counter-reflex.

I metamorphosed from podgy year-old girl to tall, shapely woman. A ll the parts of me that I did not really like, suddenly moulded into this lovely adult, shape.

Her corsets must have been very old by the end. I similarly have stuck with the Jenyns side-lacing corsets that I had adopted in the mid fifties. By the late fifties, many younger women were wearing girdles that were constructed out of rubber elastic and the newer stretch net fabrics in rayon or nylon.

The different types were: Step-ins - zippered or laced girdles. Roll-ons - all-elastic tubular girdles that were rolled on like a stocking. Pull-ons - tailored girdles elastic enough to pull up like a pair of briefs. My husband was British and I did spend several years in the UK in both the fifties and seventies. Australia , in those days was several years behind the times in terms of fashion, and Queensland , which was very conservative and rather puritanical, was several years behind the rest of Australia!

I think corsets were more greatly used, and for longer than in England, and for any family that liked to think of itself as middle class, strict corseting was seen as a sort of status symbol and mark of respectability.

Certainly, I remember once at a genteel County Woman's' Association tea party, while the Lady Mayoress gave a speech, all I could hear in the background was the whirl of the fans and gentle creaking of many corsets!

Because of the conservative nature of Queensland , mini-skirts and trousers were never thought appropriate, and subsequently, panty girdles and pantyhose caught on much later than in England — perhaps not until the mid-seventies, and not at all among women above middle age.

Pantyhose were viewed with suspicion, and the general belief not always wrong! Although there are many good brands in available in Australia, my sisters and I always bought Jenyns, as they were a Queensland brand, and Queenslanders patriotically like to support their own.

I doubt if they succeeded. Camp had the niche-market for this unusual garment and I've never seen any sold in Britain. The cover of the Jenyns brochure from the s above right demonstrates the slightly old-fashioned nature of Queensland. One was expected to dress up for the races and one's foundation garments could only come from a Queensland company. The Jenyns Superior Lacing is designed to give comfortable, uplifting abdominal support with firm control of hips.

It permits quick, simple, daily adjustment to the required firmness. You have the perfect fit with complete comfort during the whole life of the garment when you chose a Jenyns. Light, cool and transparent I would imagine would have been a relief from the heavy brocades and satin in the sweltering heat of the Australian summer. It is interesting to note the recommendation from Guy's Hospital in London. This must date from the time that Sarah Jenyns travelled to London to register her patents.

From the early 's. The upbeat message would not last for much longer Who was it that said "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery"; certainly not the Patent Office. However, a number of companies used the fan-lacing principle to very good, profitable and long lasting effect, notably Kellogg, Gale and Jenyns described above. Throughout, I have referred to these corsets as "Camp style", indicating that the pulley principle is involved, or "Jenyns style", meaning the cluster-lacing has no pulley advantage.

Sub-derivatives of the "Jenyns style" is the strap that is held by a buckle, and the strap that is secured by a pin Jenyns. Fan-lacing goes back a long way as this German brassiere from the early 19th century shows.

It also reveals how simple it is to adjust fan-lacing; that is one of its major advantages. The Kellogg corset company was formed in by D. The charming and knowledgeable Lyn Locke wears an original Kellogg, one of the prizes of her collection. This is a seriously long corset of about 21 inches.

I have seen only a few fashion corsets of this length and they were all made-to-measure Spirellas. Note that Kellogg has circumvented the Camp patent and used the multiple-lacings-sewn-to-the-adjustable-strap technique, like Jenyns.

Note also the absence of the 'swing' suspenders. Actually, the corset is rather long for Miss Locke. It would have been intended for a lady of at least 5' 6". These ' Mirra-line ' corsets belong to the Jenyns style of lacing rather than Camp since no leverage of the laces is employed. The name sounds odd. Is it referring to one's improved image on reflection in the mirror? The Comfort Foundations 'Posture Belt' was another such device. It is manufactured under the name ' Juno ", and I've only ever seen this one example.

The strangely named " Fisher Burpe " corset, is another "Jenyns style" buckled fastened device. Other famous brands have tried the fan-lacing principle, notably the Ambrose Wilson V80, and the amazing Controlacing Berlei. Ambrose Wilson, purveyor of mail order corsets to the British masses for many decades sold fan-lacers, some constructed from sweaty rubber , a corset material that never quite refuses to die out!

I tried on a Camp one of our collection in and it reminded me how ridiculously simple that lacing method is.

Would that my other lost youthful attributes were as easy to recreate! From the Ambrose Wilson catalogue of Fan-laced and busk-fronted, this w as powerful and practical. The 'scientific support' was advertised as such by Gale , the corsetry section of Sears. Typical of many advertising photographs of corsetry, the apparent scene below of three ladies and a reflection in a mirror is composed partly of photographs superimposed on the scene with the corsets drawn over the ladies.

The reflection in the mirror purports to have come from the middle lady, but the reflection faces the wrong way! Sears of still displayed a formidable array of corsetry aimed at an age group older than the lovely models on the right. The lady on the left might just have been about the same age as many of the women who wore these corsets.

Sears employed the non-Camp style of cluster lacing and were advertising it back in , although on that occasion the corset was one of those very popular perforated latex affairs. The Begian firm that produced ' Le Compressif ' range of corsets also resorted to fan-lacing of the Jenyns-style. They even secured the straps with Jenyns-patented pin; I wonder how they got away with that one? Perhaps it was made under licence. I have always thought that a busk-front, fan-laced corset simply has to be the most easily adjusted, yet most powerful of corsets.

Now here is an interesting hybrid. At first glance, this Australian corset looks like a Jenyns, but the pulley design is pure Camp.

The makers name is unfortunately ' Gross '. Camp, who patented the design. These corsets were worn by hundreds of thousands of women over nearly nine decades and, like the garments of so many of the successful corset companies, what was being sold in the 's can be traced back to the 's.

I've compiled a collection of photographs from the various Camp brochures from to that illustrate this point. We are indebted to Ken and Pat Jenyns Ken was the grandson of Sarah Ann and the last Managing Director of Jenyns who visited us in and provided much useful information. Jenyns prospered as a protected industry in World War II, receiving large contracts to supply garments to the army and navy.

In the , Herbert, by then a millionaire and a noted yachtsman, sold the business to Triumph International Overseas Ltd. The Jenyns Standard Corset interestingly, the word Bryant is hand-written on the label Big hip, long meant that the front of the garment measured 15", the sides, 19" and the back, where the fan-lacing was placed, 18".

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