Last night this image popped up on Pinterest with the following caption:
- "In 1858, crinolines had to be hung outside public transportation to get aboard"
A fully dressed woman is going to reach up her skirt (or in through the opening), rummage about under two or three petticoats, unhook her cage, and drop it in the street? Really?
And what happens when she gets to her destination? This would be the nineteenth-century equivalent of putting your bra on after you were fully dressed. It can be done, perhaps, but with no degree of dignity. Look again at the image above and imagine her taking off and putting on a cage while wearing that outfit.
I did a quick Pinterest search and at least three people had already shared the image, with the caption taken from a Tumblr post.
What we really have here is a joke image, perhaps part of this series on getting dressed.
How do we know these images are intentionally humorous? First, look how crudely made the cage is; it's clearly a purpose-made prop. Newspapers had plenty of similar jokes in cartoon form because the crinoline was a relatively new fashion. Compare these images to all of today's memes about sagging pants.
I've seen plenty of original cages and not a one of them is this big. Finally, one of the reasons that cages were so popular is that they collapsed relatively easily. Yes, it would be a squeeze on a carriage, but no more than wearing a bazillion petticoats, which is what was done before the cage.
The average person won't know any of this, however, without looking at a bazillion images of cages and developing a sense of context.