2 promotional postcards pictures of the John Taylor Dry Goods Company store on Main Street facing Petticoat Lane
An old promotional post card pictures the corset section of the John Taylor Dry Goods Company store on Main Street facing Petticoat Lane.
A customer sits in a chair at the counter while a clerk attends her needs. Cases above the counter display the department's merchandise.
The department carried a full line of corsets, bustles and ladies' underwear.
The store was noted for its fine yard goods of all kinds, especially silks, woolens and linens. Store buyers were sent to Europe and the Orient for stock. Local dressmakers sewed elaborate gowns for ladies in the latest Parisian style.
A trade card (right) handed out to customers around 1885 pictures the improved genuine Alaska down bustle, for ladies' wear beneath dress or skirt.
The legend on the reverse side of the card reads: Ladies' genuine Alaska Down Bustles are the only ones capable of extending heavy garments, according to fashion. Now made seamless, impossible to break down or burst. The imitations are weak, worthless and will disappoint you.
After the corset strings, laced behind, had been pulled as tight as possible, and tied (sometimes by husband or maid) the bustle was tied about the waist, an effective extender of the skirt behind.
John Taylor's, founded in 1881, grew from a small shop with 50-foot frontage to a large four-story store. It was purchased by Macy's in 1947, after which an expansion and rebuilding program more than doubled the size.
The cards were furnished by Helen Wray Coulter, who attended the Prince School of Merchandising in Boston and came to John Taylor's in an executive capacity. She was later married to Clarence Emmett Coulter, superintendent of the store.
Missouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Missouri
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