Deeper Roots Genealogy

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keepin’ it cool back in the day

Summer is in full swing and it’s freakin’ hot.  I’m a California girl – this humidity in the Commonwealth of Virginia is stifling.  Give me desert heat any day.  As I pulled my hair up into a ponytail once again, I wondered, how did my ancestors keep their necks cool in the summer heat?  With all the layers they had to wear, that would probably have been one of the few things they could do to cool down.

Catherine, Lady Bampfylde painted by Joshua Reynolds, 1776

Catherine, Lady Bampfylde painted by Joshua Reynolds, 1776

So what did I do?  Research, of course!

Turns out they – at least the ladies who were en vogue – didn’t get much relief in the year of the Revolution (American, that is).  Even though their hair was definitely high off their necks (sometimes as much as four feet high!!), the corks, cushions and fake hair they had to add on to accomplish this not-so-minor feat probably added the equivalent of a ski cap to their heads.  And since 80% of your body heat escapes through your head (for some people it is their mouths, right?), I daresay these ladies were just plain hot.

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One comment on “keepin’ it cool back in the day

  1. RPO
    25 June 13

    On the other hand, there was no such thing as escpaing tot he A/C, so there would have been no basis of comparison. I would have spent a lot of time “checking on the ice house”, I suspect!

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This entry was posted on 25 June 13 by in Fun Finds and tagged , , , .

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