Stays from the French and Indian War Period (1754-1763)

The oldest stays at the museum dates from the French and Indian War Period (1754 – 1763). They are lined and contain reeds sewn into the fabric channels for support. Its back closure is spiral bound with braided cording. This cording was made on a hand-held wooden tool called a Lucet. The bottom of the stays, all around, end in tabs to support the weight of 1 to 3 woolen petticoats protecting the wearer’s hips from bruising.

With the spike in consumerism during the Pre-Revolutionary War Period (1769 – 1770), Britain heavily taxed the colonists which resulted in a revolt on British goods. Thus, colonists wore homespun (linen made from the flax plant) to show their leanings. Our stays at the museum are all linen and linen lined.