Saturday, October 13, 2012

Over the Shoulder Boulder Holder

 Take a look at this marvel of engineering!  My poor dress form is not up to displaying a brassiere of this magnitude.  This is a size 44 Camp fan-laced brassiere.  Made of sturdy, flat-felled, pink polished cotton, you can see that you can adjust your lift with the underbust slings and buttons.

Hooks and loops on the left side got you into this marvel.  Then. . . .

You pulled on the elastic garters to cinch it up and flipped down the catches, like a girdle garter.

You know I'm going to look up the patent!

Adjustment Buckle Structure
Samuel H Camp, Jackson, Michigan, Assignor to S H Camp & Company, Jackson, Michigan, a corporation of Michigan

Patent number: 2053600
Filing date: May 25, 1934
Issue date: Sep 8, 1936

Here is a link to a wonderful collection of fan-laced corsetry.  Fan-Lacing Corsets  I can't do any better than referring you to their pages to "read all about it".  There is one brassiere shown, though not like mine.  Here are some more fan-laced corsets.

Samuel Higby Camp was born 29 September 1871 in Jackson, Jackson, Michigan, the son of Henry N Camp and Ella M Higby.  He was single when he patented his corset closing system in 1908 and was 46 when he married Mary Margaret Hammond, age 49, on 29 June 1918.  He died in 1944 and his Find-A-Grave entry is here.  
Even though a bachelor, he paid attention to his mother's and sister's clothing needs and invented a corset stay improvement in 1896, an adjustable waistband for skirts in 1903, an abdominal support device in 1916, as well as other orthopedic improvements.  I must admit, however, that I was not able to find the 1908 patent referred to, above, which I found quoted in several places.

This is a page from The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery by The American and British Orthopaedic Associations, in October of 1944.  (That back looks more like a front to me!)
Samuel and Mary Margaret did some world traveling after they were married and he put out another book about women's anatomy for physicians and surgeons.
The only other thing I could find about this inventor was that his company is still in business putting out support garments for injuries and back problems and there is a Samuel Higby Camp Foundation that makes grants, but I was not able to find a website.


  1. This is so cool.I have a corset with the fan system.Not a camp one but the design is the same.I bought it just because it was so fascinating...

  2. Ok that was pretty fascinating!

    Thank you for the cheongsam pattern suggestion! I forgot that Folkwear had one too. :) That one should be easier to find also!

  3. Wow! I live just up the road from Jackson MI. Does the business have an address (and is it located in that area still)? I'll check it out if it's local and send info.

  4. The Camp bra is probably a "heavy duty" model for a woman with a large bust. The original wearer may have been fashionable, because this bra does a lot of rearranging of the body.

    Camp made a range of surgical corsets which were prescribed by doctors up to 1970 or so. Because women "naturally" had weak backs it was natural that they needed support from well boned corsets.

    They also made a less surgical, more fashionable range. One woman I spoke to said that she regarded Camp corsets as "a fashionable figure" circa 1950, at any cost. And by cost she meant both money -Camp products were expensive, and in comfort, because there was no arguing with a camp corset - you became the shape of the corset and not the other way round.


  5. I worked for in England at the distribution warehouse in andover as warehouseman/driver from 1978 until it was moved to portsmouth in December 1982. I was then in charge of distribution, and visiting hospitals, until 1992. good company to work for.

  6. I love it, is there possibly a pattern for this?

    1. No. You would have to find one and pull your own pattern.


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