What appears to be an example of the corsetting of small boys for medical correction (explanation below by a reader)
The boy is most likely suffering from spinal deviation (most likely scoliosis) and is wearing a formidable corset brace to redress his spine and prevent further deviation. The more contemporary brace used is known as the Milwaukee brace (for sciliosis), it is not as forbidding as the one depicted in your photograph but it is not recommended to the cheerleaders. The brace has to be worn 23 hours a day for the first year or so and then the patient is weaned out gradually over the last 12 to 18 months. The people wearing these are not corset fetishists; they are usually young girls whose condition is detected at about 12 to 14 years old ( boys can also suffer from this condition. 17% of cases are boys and 83% girls). In view of this it is easy to understand why parents justified corsets for girls but not so much for boys although there were exceptions of which this picture reproduction is eloquent example!
" I am now getting on in my years and had scoliosis as a youngster. I never thought I would again see the corset, or very close to it ever again. I was laced up in this type of corset for several years as, this was one of the torture devices before the Milwaukee brace. I will never forget the experience of being in this type of corset. It was as formidable and restricting as shown in your photograph. I can remember mine going as low as possible on my buttocks and as equally as low at the front. It extended not just tight into the armpits but really tight to stretch one. Although this corset was not designed for waist training, I believe it could have been by the tightness it was worn.
It was severely boned, my corset being surrounded by 16 bones, 5 in the back, 3 each side and 4 each side the lace eyelets. The boning at the back were strong and flexible so they would conform to the shape of my spine when the corset was tightened. The side boning was also semi flexible, but stronger than the back ones. The front boning were absolutely rigid, but contoured.
I remember breathing was difficult at first, as the corset enclosed the chest but as equally tightened.
Once laced in, one could not move -- bending backwards just a little was possible against the flexible bones, Forward bending was not possible because of the rigid boning. Sitting was made extremely difficult and uncomfortable and floor sitting impossible -- one had to kneel.
The corset was tight laced to what now I would consider unforgivable, it being tightened until both halves completely met (as in the photograph). Shoulder straps passed over each shoulder to fasten tight at the back, continually pulling ones shoulders back. It is not shown in the photograph, but most likely there are what was called groin straps. These were long leather straps padded for the groin area and they attached to the bottom rear of the corset, passing between ones legs to buckle at the front. One had to be in the sitting position while the straps were tightened as tight as possible, so on standing they pulled even tighter. The neck arrangement kept ones neck in continuous extension, and on sitting forced even stronger extension.
I was in this type of corset for nearly 5 years day and nights. Hope this as been of some interest.
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