August 11, 2010

conner prairie

Why, why, why didn't I bring a sketch book? Why?! I was able to visit the Conner Prairie Interactive History Park and take a look at some of the corsets and stays in the Conner Prairie Historic Clothing Collection. So cool! And because I didn't bring a sketch book to jot down notes I hope I can remember all that I learned.

You can learn a lot from looking at pictures, but there is nothing like seeing the real deal. A huge thanks to Jenny who arranged a hands on look at some of the corsets and stays in the collection, and to Lana, the collections manager, who took the time to pull the garments out and gave us gloves and a magnifying lamp so we could inspect everything closely. So fun!

Stay with Decorative Stitching. 1831. © 2009 Conner Prairie

These stays were just one of the treasures that were brought out to learn from. They were made for a girl by her mother, and the busk was made by her father. I also got to see this old time bust support.

Bosom Support. circa 1880. © 2009 Conner Prairie

The description reads, "kidney-like shaped pad, stuffing is man's facial hair covered w/linen." It felt crunchy when squeezed, not at all like the hair stuffed pin cushion I made.

It was wonderful to meet Jenny, and Conner Prairie was so cute. Maybe cute is not the word. You step into the 1800's when you enter the park. How about so educational? Or so entertaining. You get the idea. If you can't make it in person you can access some of the textile and clothing collection through IUPUI Digital Collection. Once you dive in there you could get lost for a while. Have fun!


  1. Wow, I am not sure I fancy men's facial hair (even if it is covered with linen) that close to my bust line.....and I am not sure I care for it being crunchy when squeezed either.....
    Thanks for posting about this - one of those examples of the truth being stranger than fiction....who would have thought..?

  2. Exactly, who'd have thought? The crunchy-ness was surprising. A very unique feel.

  3. I was so happy to have met you and taken you to see our little hidden gems... that I had never seen either. Now that you're "in the area" I hope we can take a WHOLE day trip to see the prairie sometime! :)

  4. Jenny! Thank you, thank you, thank you! I'll take you up on the whole day the next time I'm in your area!

  5. I'm glad I'm not the only one who is a little skeeved out by the idea of a bunch of men's facial hair sitting on my chest!

    It does make me feel a little better about my occasional forays into historical bust padding though!