This film is part of Free

Foundation of Beauty

The Foundation of Beauty is what lies beneath - as this parade of corsetted ladies reveal - with corsets to suit all shapes, sizes and ages

Advert 1930 8 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for Wessex Film and Sound Archive


This film shows a succession of models wearing a variety of corset types. Intertitles reveal the corset's name and its price - in pre-decimalisation currency. Each corset is aimed at a particular type of customer and for a particular function - from corsets suitable for outdoors and sports to those intended for evening wear. The intertitles delicately mention that certain corsets are aimed at the fuller figure while others are more suitable for younger women and girls.

The Portsea Island Mutual Co-operative Society's first shop opened in Charles Street in 1873. A larger site was acquired in Fratton Road and a central grocery and drapery were opened in 1883. In the early 1930s a site opposite the old premises was developed before it was destroyed by fire in 1934. Co-operative House, which was built on the site in 1937. It was destroyed by bombing in 1941 and rebuilt after the war. The 1950s saw neighbouring co-operatives transferred to PIMCO while closer links were established with other regional societies in the 1980s. By 2009 there were 120 Co-op Community stores spread across the region, covering Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, Sussex and parts of Dorset and Wiltshire.