I'm just catching up with this now. Thanks, Christine, for long and fascinating 
post - I haven't read much North American GO lit, so I haven't got much to say, 
but the following gem just grabbed my attention:

<<<Women began to fight to change the way
they dressed; it was realised that their clothing restricted their bodies
and were bad for their health. One of the best-known clothes reform
campaigners was Mrs Amelia Bloomer, who gave her name to the
then-revolutionary garment.>>>

I know I should know this, and of course I've seen loads of references to 
bloomers, but can I confess my ignorance and ask what they acksherly consisted 
of? I've never known. 

I like the idea of clothes reform campaigners. Some of the early headmistresses 
of the school I went to were among their number, and their achievements in 
banning corsets etc were read out to us every Founder's Day. At the time I'm 
afraid it didn't make much impression, but I think I'd've paid more attention 
if I'd known about those statistics you quote, Christine. 22 lbs of pressure, 
carried around with you all day long. Blimey. 

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