1911 - 1917
New York, New York, U.S.
It should have been the dress form to end all dress forms. It was well built and completely adjustable. With it dress makers would'nt have needed to have several dress forms at their disposal in order to accommodate the multitude of shapes and sizes of the female form. They would need just one, The Lady Claire.
The Lady Claire was constructed of wire and steel without any soldering at the joints. The front shoulder/ neck plate reads "The Lady Claire, Perfect Adjustable Dress Form Co., Patented 1911, New York." The dress form could be adjusted to accomodate a short woman or tall, slender figure or full, sloping shoulders or square, small chest or large, narrow hips or wide, thin neck or thick and every other shape in between. It rolled around on four solid casters so it could easily be moved around. The design was thoroughly revolutionary.
The Lady Claire
Unfortunately, and unbeknownst to me as to why, The Lady Claire was a commercial flop. It was advertised for just 2-3 short years and then it disappeard. Though The Perfect Adjustable Dress Form Company was on the books at least through 1917, there is no evidence suggesting any serious attempts to market the dress form past 1913.
The dress form was invented by John Rae of Philadelphia, PA. He patented it in 1911 (patent no.991,241) and assigned it to the Kearns Manufacturing Company for the putpose of manufacturing it. The company was located in Philadelphia though it was incorporated in Delaware. Also, a separate company was created in 1912 to handle the actual sales of the dress form. The sales company was aptly named The Perfect Adjustable Dress Form Company which was incorporated in New York. John Kearns (owner of the Kearns Mfg. Co.) was named as one of its directors.