ADvent Calendar Day 15ADvent Calendar Day 15

‘It seemed to me that I was standing in a Temple of silence. Outside was the rush and roar of London life. Inside, all was calm and peaceful. The interior, in its blend of colours and graceful hangings, and its rich carpeting, reminds one of Oriental times.’

Such was the impression of a visitor to Cornelius Bennett Harness’s Oxford Street showroom (which still stands today). Amid this opulence, the customer could be fitted with an electric corset or electropathic belt, try out an Ammoniaphone to improve their tone of voice, or even purchase some ‘electropatent socks’. The corsets were not electric at all; they had a magnetised steel busk and various scientific-looking metal buttons. Find out more about them here.

Harness's Electric Corset, 1890s

Leave a Reply