For the gentlewoman of the Victorian age, modesty was prized above all else. So when it came to an afternoon's recreation in the ocean, a lady of manners would always don a proper beach costume, often a knee-length wool dress worn over bloomers and stockings. And she most certainly wouldn't change in the open air! No, that was where the so-called bathing machine came in — a now-defunct contraption that was once the hottest of beach accessories.Hulton Archive/Getty Images BORN OUT OF NECESSITY Topical Press Agency/Getty Images HOW IT WORKED Hulton Archive/Getty Images A HELPING HAND? F. J. Mortimer/Getty Images SEPARATION ANXIETY Popperfoto/Popperfoto/Getty Images A LASTING RELIC Past Pix/SSPL via Getty Images HERE'S TO ALL THE BATHING BEAUTIES!