When people think of burlesque, they imagine old-fashioned strippers. While burlesque did involve stripping, the actual movement evolved from a rebellion against the upper class hoity-toity operas and plays to appeal and entertain the lower and middle classes in Great Britain and the United States.
It started in the 1840s and encompassed music and comedy and in general, parodied upper-class style. Of course, people will still always put burlesque and stripping together. While these photos don’t necessarily show burlesque ‘strippers’, they show burlesque dancers from the mid-1800s. Their costumes were quite, interesting, to say the least.