Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Drawers in the Civil War

Today in Civil War remembrance, via Lawyers, Guns & Money, comes this - a discussion of underwear in the Civil War. Unlike Mr. Loomis, at LGM, I quite like reading about battles and tactics and generals and the like, and arguing about them when I get the chance - but I admit, that stuff can be rather trivial. Sometimes the things that look trivial - guns and ammo and trains and hats and machines of every stripe - really aren't: and underwear certainly counts. It's easier to track down information on the kinds of rifles people used, or the hats they wore, than the kind of drawers they wore - but it's all just about as interesting. And important - look at some of the things you might learn from that article: how underwear was made, what it consisted of, things like that - but also,standards of hygiene; how much a private got paid and how much women were paid for sewing piecework; 19th century laundry techniques - and a reminder about the gendered division of labor there; how to kill lice... It's fascinating stuff....

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