During my recent spate of organising, I ran across an interesting item, which I inherited from the previous owner of a place I used to live in. The building had commercial space on the main floor, where this fellow ran his tailoring business (well, alteration business, at any rate), and an apartment upstairs. When he left, this box (filled with miscellaneous little bits) was one of the few things behind.
There weren’t any of these supporters left in the box, but from what I can make out from the image and the text on the box, I think they would have been little lengths of twill tape with snaps on. You sew one end to the inside of the trousers, then feed the other end through a loop on the underwear, then snap it to itself to keep the underwear up. Keeping clothes on without elastic and lycra is a rapidly dying art, it seems.
The fonts and image on the box suggest an early 1900s look to me. Here’s the complete text (with a weak attempt at conveying the format by using heading tags):
“It’s all right.”
TRADE MARK REGISTERED.
FOR FINE TAILORING.
Patent Numbers – 645,624; 32,251; 594,797; 585,048; 507,928; 777,879.
[image of trousers]
These Trousers have the “Loopdeloop” Drawer Supporter attached on each side of Waistband. Open the Fastener and adjust the Loop of Drawers over same, like figure one; then press the button, like figure two, and “Loopdeloop” will do the rest.
Directions for sewing.- When Sewing to Trousers insert the Free End of Tape between the Lining of Waistband and Canvas. Stitch around the Edges and across the Tape where Creased.
645624 – 20 Mar 1900, ball and socket fastener (i.e. snap)
32251 – 17 May 1861, pump piston (not seeing the connection here – typo?; 532251 is for a “whiffletree”, 632251 is a clamp for molders’ flasks, and 732251 is pendent-lens eyeglasses, none of which seem applicable)
594797 – 30 Nov 1897, button
585048 – 22 Jun 1897, fastener for gloves (i.e. different kind of snap)
507928 – 31 Oct 1893, glove fastener (i.e. yet another snap)
777879 – 20 Dec 1904, supporter for drawers
So applying the method for dating a coin hoard, this box can’t be from any earlier than 1904 – let’s say 1905 because the latest patent was Dec 1904 and the box doesn’t indicate “patent pending” (assuming they would have noted that).