Burn your corsets!

The Consecrated Eminence

The other week, while perusing our oversize materials, I ran across a drawer that had previously escaped my notice. It was labelled “Dr. Phillips’ Figure Study Charts” and was full to overflowing with great big pages of simply drawn figures, obviously advocating for the health and aesthetic benefits of proper posture and unrestrictive clothing. These charts are a fantastic example of the complicated, contradictory character of nineteenth century science, medicine and health advice.

These charts, “Outline Studies of the Human Figure,” are a published collection of teaching tools created by J. H. Kellogg and published in 1898 (2nd edition) by Kellogg’s Modern Medicine Publishing Company in Battle Creek, Michigan. John Harvey Kellogg is a well known character in the late nineteenth century health craze. Best known as a co-inventor of corn flakes (with his brother), he also ran a sanitarium in Battle Creek, Michigan with a focus on healthy eating…

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