I find corsets fascinating. Corsets are virtually the only part of fashion that even remotely interests me. I have always assumed that corsets evolved in Europe throughout the Victorian ages but I have discovered that this is not the case. The earliest known date of someone wearing a corset is in 2,000 BC. The image is of a Cretan woman and she is wearing the corset as an outer-garment, rather than being used as an undergarment.
The earliest form of corset that was used how it is used in the present day was the Cottee. The Cottee was a bodice that was worn under clothing. It was made of stiff linen and was worn under bodice. In the 16th century, they began using whalebones in the corset in order to keep the structure of the corset. They also began using an additive to the corset, called a Busk. The Busk was an artificial edge given to the bodice. Until 1890, corsets were always made by hand. After the French revolution, there was a decline in the usage of corsets as women began to see corsets as a symbol of oppression and clothes no longer needed corsets.