Pointed Tea Rose Brocade Coutil Girdle With Side Lacing, c. 1940s, France. The Underpinnings Museum. Photography by Tigz Rice

#UPMTC: The curious history of Radioactive Corsets, by Lucy Jane Santos

This blog post documents the Underpinnings Museum Twitter Conference presentation by Lucy Jane Santos, entitled The Curious History of Radioactive Corsets.

This presentation will look at the surprising use of radioactive materials in corsetry in the 1920s-1930s specifically looking at two companies (one based in the UK and one in France) that made these – apparently best-selling products. Over 12 tweets it will look at how they worked, what benefits they were said to impart and where they could be purchased. This presentation will be illustrated by advertisements of the products.

Lucy Jane Santos is an expert in the history of twentieth century leisure, health and beauty with a special interest (some might say obsession) for radioactivity. She is currently reading for her PhD (due for completion in 2019) on the use of radioactivity in beauty products. She has a BA in Egyptian Archaeology (UCL), an MA in Arts and Museum Management (University of Greenwich) and an MRes in History (University of Goldsmiths).

We will share each of the conference presentations via its own blog post over the coming weeks. If you’re on Twitter, you can join the discussion via the Underpinnings Museum’s account and the conference hashtag #UPMTC

The header image for this post is of a (non-radioactive!) tea rose brocade coutil girdle with side lacing (c. 1940s), from the Underpinnings Museum collections. Photography by Tigz Rice. Full listing coming soon.

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