Object StatementModel and Charts (21), Berlei Figure Type Indicators, Berlei Ltd/Berlei United Ltd/Berlei (UK) Ltd, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia/London, England, c 1928 - 1960s
Physical DescriptionModel and Charts (21), Berlei Figure Type Indicators, Berlei Ltd/Berlei United Ltd/Berlei (UK) Ltd, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia/London, England, c 1928 - 1960s
Prototype wooden model and successive versions of the Berlei Figure Type Indicator, or as it was originally called, The Berlei Type Indicator. The indicator was used by sales staff or fitters to determine a client's precise bust, waist and hip measurements to ensure correct fitting of a Berlei foundation garment. It featured a moveable disc for indicating bust measurement and a moveable pointer for indicating waist measurement. Hip measurement sizes were printed on the border surrounding the moveable disc. Instruction sheets with illustrations were printed or pasted on the back of the indicators.
The indicator resulted from a study commissioned by Berlei in 1926 and undertaken by physiologists in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Sydney led by Professor Henry Chapman. This anthropometric study called the National Census of Women's Measurements took 23 different measurements of 6,000 Australian women. After the measurements were tabulated and analysed, Berlei developed its five figure type classification scheme. The five original classifications were Big Hip, Sway Back, Big Abdomen, Average, and Short Below Waist. The classification scheme remained constant although how the various types were described changed slightly over time.
The series features Australian, British and American versions of the indicator which was patented in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Great Britain, Canada and the USA.