Hoop Skirts important to 1860s York women.
Every think about hoop skirts? Me neither, but from this lengthy York Gazette ad, hoop skirts were very important in the 1860s. The ad reads:
NEW SKIRT FOR 1866
The Great Invention of the Age in HOOP SKIRTS
J.W. Bradley’s New Patent Duplex Elliptic (or double) Spring Skirt.
This invention consists of DUPLEX (or two) ELLIPTIC PURE REFINED STEEL SPRINGS, ingeniously BRADED TIGHTLY and FIRMLY together, Epos to Epos, making the TOUGHEST, most FLEXIBLE, ELASTIC an DURABLE SPRING ever used. They seldom BEND OR BRAKE, like the Single Springs, and consequently preserve their perfect and beautiful Shape more than twice as long as any SINGLE SPRING SKIRT that ever has or can be made.
The wonderful flexibility and great comfort and pleasure to any Lady wearing the DUPLEX ELLIPTIC SKIRT will be experienced particularly in all crowded Assemblies, Operas, Carriages, Railroad Cars, Church Pews, Arm Chairs, for Promenade and House Dress, as the SKIRT can be folded when in use to occupy a small place as easily and conveniently as a Silk or Muslin Dress.
A LADY having enjoyed the Pleasure, Comfort and Great Convenience of wearing the DUPLEX ELLIPTIC STEEL SPRING SKIRT for a single day will never afterwards willing dispense with their use. For CHILDREN, MISSES and YOUNG LADIES they are superior to all others.
THE HOOPS are covered with 2 ply double twisted thread and will wear twice as long as the Single yarn covering which is used on all Single Steel Hoop Skirts. The three bottom rods on every Skirt are also DOUBLE STEEL, and twice or double covered to prevent the covering from wearing of the rods when dragging down stairs, stone steps, &c., which they are constantly subject to when in use.
All are made of fine new and elegant CORDED TAPES, and are the best quality in every part, giving to the wearer the most graceful and perfect shape possible and are unquestionably the lightest, most desirable, comfortable and economical SKIRT ever made.
WESTS’ BRADLEY & CARY, PROPRIETORS of the Invention, and SOLE MANUFACTURERS, 97 CHAMBERS, and 79 and 81 READE STREETS, New York.
FOR SALE in all first-class Stores in this City, and throughout the United States and Canada, Havana de Cuba, Mexico, South America and the West Indies.
Inquire for the DUPLEX ELLIPTIC (or double SPRING SKIRT.
Those gowns supported by hoop skirts are beautiful in museums and movies showing the period, but I’m glad I don’t have to wear them.