Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Killer Mobile Device for Victorian Women (11 Pics)

The chatelaine, a device popularized in the 18th century that attached to the waist of a woman’s dress, bearing tiny useful accessories, from notebooks to knives. In many ways chatelaines provided better access to such objects than we have today: How often have you searched for your keys or cell phone at the bottom of a cavernous bag?

Like a customized Swiss Army knife, a chatelaine provided its wearer with exactly the tools she needed closest at hand. For an avid seamstress, that might include a needle case, thimble, and tape measure, while for an active nurse it might mean a thermometer and safety pins. Inspired by the complex key rings carried by “la chatelaine,” the female head of a grand French estate, these beautiful, little contraptions were as fashionable as they were practical. In fact, their design was sometimes so trendy that style trumped usefulness.

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