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Crinoline: The Deadly Victorian Fashion Piece That Burned Over 3,000 Women

The things we do for fashion.

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Fashion isn’t just about vanity and style. It also defines decades and adds color to history. Today, fashion can be more practical. A lot of people’s style choices are guided by comfort, functionality, and self-expression. Many years ago, however, fashion pieces weren’t as flexible.

During the Victorian era, the crinoline, a large petticoat, was highly fashionable. The original garment was made from stiff horsehair fabric that kept the hoop skirts of the 1800s in position. The horsehair was eventually replaced by stiffened cotton, and later, by the cage crinolines that became the most popular.

The cage crinoline was made from spring steel running horizontally.

Source: MoMu

Vertical tape lines kept the hoops secure, and the circumference ran from a few feet up to about 15 feet. A petticoat was worn over the steel frame, and then a skirt or dress was worn over the petticoat.

Upperclass women first wore the crinoline, until it became so popular that women of all classes started wearing it. Movement was restricted while wearing the crinoline since certain actions and positions could compromise the wearer’s modesty. The width of the crinoline also made it difficult for women to go through doorways, and the layers of clothing made it very hot to wear.

But as much as the crinoline was fashionable, it was also very dangerous.

The fashion piece was highly flammable, and an estimated 3,000 women were killed when their crinolines caught fire. For example, in 1858, a woman in Boston was quickly burned when her skirt caught fire from her fireplace. In February 1863, Margaret Davey, a 14-year-old kitchen maid, died from the severity of her burns when her crinoline caught fire as she reached for a set of spoons. And in Philadelphia, nine ballerinas were killed when one of them brushed a candle at the Continental Theater.


In England, over a two-month period alone, 19 deaths caused by burning crinolines were reported. Female witnesses said they couldn’t provide help for fear of their own skirts catching fire.

The crinolines also posed non-lethal problems.

Women had a hard time boarding trains and other vehicles. Sometimes, the bottom of their skirts became entangled with wagon wheels or got caught by the wind.

The fashion piece went out of style in the late 1800s. Today, it is used for costumes and wedding gowns and is made from more comfortable and non-flammable materials.

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DNA Reveals ‘Powerful Viking’ Remains Belonged To A Female Warrior Commander

For over 130 years, researchers assumed the remains were of a man.

For 130 long years, researchers and scholars assumed that the remains of a Viking warrior and military leader found in Sweden many years ago were of a man. Now, thanks to DNA testing and modern technology, it has been proven that the ancient high-ranking military officer was actually a woman.

The findings were published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, and it raises provocative questions about gender roles in ancient society. The discovery is proof that researchers must stop assuming that ancient remains of high-ranking individuals are by default male.

It is often assumed that ancient societies were male dominated, but archaeological discoveries have proven that women also played vital leadership roles.

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These killer floods in the past had taken hundreds of thousands of lives.

Today, flooding has become more common than usual. In fact, just recently, Hurricane Harvey has unleashed one of the nation's worst floods. As if that wasn't enough, Hurricane Irma has battered Florida over the weekend and is expected to create dangerous storm surges.

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Here are the top 10 killer floods in history:

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Drunken Couple Fools Around And Discovers Ancient Chapel Hidden Under Their House

Upon exploration, they found a chapel-like enclosure and an old chest of mementos dating back to the 1930s.

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How well do you know your house? A drunken couple from Shropshire found their answer after their home revealed some secrets. One night of fun led Pat and Diane Farla to explore their Telford home.

It was then that they discovered that their Victorian building had been holding some secrets beyond its walls.

The Telford home of the Farla family in Shropshire revealed secrets that nobody ever expected.

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