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A Shower And A Blower

For those of you who are wondering what on earth this post is about, it is NOT a shower that you get wet in and a hair blower!

Every now and then we get requests for certain topics to be talked about and this is one of them.  a very special chum and cousin to Robin, Stephen, asked us to do a post on men’s handkerchiefs.  Whilst he is not of the generation where EVERY gentleman carried a linen or cotton handkerchief, he certainly appreciates them.

Men’s handkerchiefs have been around for a very long time.  Apparently, they were first used in China way, way back in the Chou dynasty (1000BC) by men who put them on their heads to shield them from the sun.

European traders returned from China with these squares which were then used as fashion statements. Gentlemen were seen with beautiful handkerchiefs spewing out of their top pocket…a symbol of wealth and prosperity.  In Persia, they were considered a sign of nobility and were reserved for kings.  Certainly, anyone sitting for their portrait wanted a handkerchief painted into the picture….a sure sign of an aristocrat.

Apparently, “the bigger the better” was the way…so much so that in 1785 Louis XVI decreed that noone was allowed to carry a handkerchief which was larger than his!

Hankies were given as mementos by soldiers to their loved ones when they went off to war…..and certainly vice versa.  A soldier would like nothing more than his loved one’s perfumed hankie for a keepsake.

In the 1920s, Kleenex was born!  It was originally invented as a face towel to take off one’s cold cream and by the 1930s, a lot of people were using Kleenex in the place of their handkerchiefs.  But not for all people, that’s for sure!

I can certainly remember my darling father always having a “show-er” and a “blow-er”.  One was in his top pocket and was for “show” (unless a little one’s tear needed to be wiped away in which case he would use it)  and the other was in his trouser pocket and would be taken out when he needed to blow.

Ah, yes, gentlemen used handkerchiefs and some gentlemen still do.

On the next special occasion, why not give your beau a box of handkerchiefs.  He will certainly know that you think he is a gentleman!

Abundant living – yes!





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  1. Janna K Howe #

    When a very young little girl I wanted to try ironing my thoughtful mother gave me my fathers handkerchiefs and a sprinkle bottle to wet them or they came out of the refrigerator where they were already damp in a bag. Happily away I ironed enjoying every moment.

    June 2, 2017
    • Two Chums #

      What a sweet, sweet memory, Janna. Thanks for sharing!

      June 2, 2017
  2. Richard Horner #

    I love to always carry a handkerchief in my rear pocket, although I rarely use it, unless offering it to someone else who needs one. I also carry a small package of kleenex in my front pocket to blow with. But if wearing a sports jacket or suit coat I always have a colorful silk pocket square flowing freely out of my chest pocket like Noel Coward.

    June 2, 2017

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