Godey's Lady's Book illustration, 1863
It's difficult, looking at History clearly. Some of our most dearly held images either must be clung to against all evidence or vanish- leaving one feel a little like the day you watched Santa dissolve, sleigh, Rudolph and team, into Time's bittersweet vault.
Posted on this some time ago. Had a few articles on the dangers of crinolines- hoops, and hoops skirts. One, from Asia, 200 women perishing WHOOSH, packed together for a ceremony. A skirt caught fire.
No fire expert but beyond how difficult it would be sitting next to her at a dinner table- seems to me this ensemble would go WHOOSH with great ease.
One of his points is, women could not remain aware of where their clothing was- it was impossible. How could you?
I'd meant to collect more articles and no, newspapers are not sources. But. They are infallible reflections of the eras- society in print. Article out of a Pittsburgh paper, must have been around the time the Rooneys won the Steelers in card game- so, mid-war ; a man on the broil. Topic? Hoop skirts- crinolines. This image we have, our ancestors, or anyone's, floating in feminine, era loveliness bedecked in bow, ruffles, lace and around an acre of fabric- was extremely controversial. Iconic today, synonymous with the American Civil War, women in motion, grace and beauty, crinolines aka hoop skirts were attacked as dangerous, intrusive, impolite, annoying and frequently just, plain weapons let loose on the general public.
For those who will still cling, no messenger shooting. Yes, one article. Have around 50 in reserve- this one covers all bases, is the thing. His sheer common sense is what gets gives one pause. That women still wore them guided by Godeys, Demorest, et al means commerce took a hand.
1861, Godey's Lady's Book