Divorce: The article suggested that wives' failure to disrobe sexily for their husbands was contributing to the ballooning divorce rate in America
By Daily Mail Reporter
A curious collection of photographs from the 1930s has shown us just how different life was for the American family just 75 years ago - particularly for women.
The images, published originally in LIFE Magazine in 1937 and again on LIFE.com this week, illustrate step-by-step how a wife should - and should not - undress for her husband.
Using burlesque dancers as models, Allen Gilbert, who was promoting his new Manhattan School of Undressing, gave readers a few pointers and lamented in the article that wives with a faulty 'disrobing methodology' were largely responsible for America's ballooning divorce rate.
Dubious advice: Ex-burlesque stripper June St. Clair, pictured, demonstrates how a wife should teasingly remove her lingerie in front of her husband in the bedroom, during class at the Allen Gilbert School of Undressing in 1937
Comparison: Ex-burlesque stripper June St. Clair, right, sexily undresses as a typical wife clumsily disrobes next to her during demonstration on how wives should undress in front of their husbands in the bedroom
How to undress: The images, published originally in LIFE Magazine in 1937 and again on LIFE.com this week, illustrate step-by-step how a wife should - and should not - undress for her husband
Gilbert said in the February 17 issue that at his undressing school wives, anxious to improve their marital manners, would learn 'the correct way' to take off their clothes.
'I am dedicating my school to the sanctity of the American home,' he explained.
Dress: Ex-burlesque stripper June St. Clair, pictured, carefully hangs up her dress in the bedroom
Clumsy: A typical wife, pictured, clumsily removes her dress after pulling it off over her head during a demonstration of how not to undress in front of your husband in the bedroom in 1937
School of Undressing professor Connie Fonzlau demonstrates the "unpardonable sin" of "working on two sides at once," 1937.
At the time of print, 48 New York wives 'who suspect there is something wrong with' how they undress in front of the man of the house had already signed up for the $30 six lesson course.
'From these they will learn how to make going to bed appear a thing of charm and pleasure rather than a routine chore,' the article reads.
Thankfully, even back then, LIFE's editors weren't entirely convinced, believing the course may be a stunt to promote the burlesque producer's upcoming show.
'Mr. Gilbert plans to put on a revue next spring entitled Sex Rears Its Ugly Head,' the article reads.
'It may be that this current lapse into pedagogy is partially motivated by the knowledge that advance publicity for the producer is not a bad thing.'