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Powdering soldier's hair... why?

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  • Patrick J O'Kelley
    Howdy, Besides the cosmetic reasons, or fashion sense, what on earth made the officers want to have soldiers with powdered hair? I ve wondered about that for
    Message 1 of 8 , Dec 31, 2005
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      Howdy,
      Besides the cosmetic reasons, or fashion sense, what on earth
      made the officers want to have soldiers with powdered hair?
      I've wondered about that for awhile.


      Patrick O'Kelley http://www.2nc.org/
      Author of "Nothing but Blood and Slaughter" The Revolutionary War in the
      Carolinas
      Available at Volume One 1771-1779
      http://www.booklocker.com/books/1469.html
      Volume Two 1780
      http://www.booklocker.com/books/1707.html
      Volume Three 1781
      http://www.booklocker.com/books/1965.html
    • Joseph Ruckman
      ... IIRC, powdered hair was usually for formal occasions, so I can t imagine them doing it for anything other than a full-dress parade. Joseph
      Message 2 of 8 , Dec 31, 2005
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        > Besides the cosmetic reasons, or fashion sense, what on earth
        > made the officers want to have soldiers with powdered hair?

        IIRC, powdered hair was usually for formal occasions, so I can't
        imagine them doing it for anything other than a full-dress parade.

        Joseph
      • Mark Crosby
        Based on period accounts from the Royal Artillery November 1772 reports that Officers on guard mount are to have thier hair well powdered. In 1777 the general
        Message 3 of 8 , Dec 31, 2005
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          Based on period accounts from the Royal Artillery
          November 1772 reports that Officers on guard mount are to have thier
          hair well powdered. In 1777 the general order was for men to have
          their hair clubbed and powdered. Why, who knows?
          Mark Crosby


          --- In Revlist@yahoogroups.com, "Joseph Ruckman" <malruck@a...> wrote:
          >
          > > Besides the cosmetic reasons, or fashion sense, what on earth
          > > made the officers want to have soldiers with powdered hair?
          >
          > IIRC, powdered hair was usually for formal occasions, so I can't
          > imagine them doing it for anything other than a full-dress parade.
          >
          > Joseph
          >
        • Fred Lucas
          Even Butler s Rangers were issued 50lbs of Hair Powder and 12 dozen pomatum. See Haldimand Papers B100-264 for the doubters out there I just cant see anyone
          Message 4 of 8 , Dec 31, 2005
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            Even Butler's Rangers were issued 50lbs of Hair Powder and 12 dozen
            pomatum. See Haldimand Papers B100-264 for the doubters out there

            I just cant see anyone out there attempting it, the hair powder
            would screw up the war paint :-(

            Fred Lucas



            --- In Revlist@yahoogroups.com, "Mark Crosby" <ra4bat@h...> wrote:
            >
            > Based on period accounts from the Royal Artillery
            > November 1772 reports that Officers on guard mount are to have
            thier
            > hair well powdered. In 1777 the general order was for men to have
            > their hair clubbed and powdered. Why, who knows?
            > Mark Crosby
            >
            >
            > --- In Revlist@yahoogroups.com, "Joseph Ruckman" <malruck@a...>
            wrote:
            > >
            > > > Besides the cosmetic reasons, or fashion sense, what on earth
            > > > made the officers want to have soldiers with powdered hair?
            > >
            > > IIRC, powdered hair was usually for formal occasions, so I can't
            > > imagine them doing it for anything other than a full-dress
            parade.
            > >
            > > Joseph
            > >
            >
          • Andrew De Lisle
            Hey Gents, Thought that I might chime in on this one. It seems as others have said that powdering hair was most often done for formal occasions. I have also
            Message 5 of 8 , Dec 31, 2005
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              Hey Gents,

              Thought that I might chime in on this one. It seems as
              others have said that powdering hair was most often
              done for formal occasions. I have also seen instances
              where men in garrison are to mount gaurd with powdered
              hair (2d or 4th NY garrisoned at Stanwix in 1781). I
              think this reflects what seems to be the ideal image
              of a soldier in the period. Powdering one's own
              dressed hair was quite common for formal occasions in
              civilian life. In many images of soldiers from the
              period, their hair is dressed in a neat manner. Again
              I think this is purely military fashion, reflecting
              what a soldier should look like, when in a more formal
              or static setting.

              Andrew De Lisle




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            • R. Burke
              Patrick, That was exactly the reason. The typical uniform of the royal armies of the 18th C. was designed more for aesthetic considerations than practical
              Message 6 of 8 , Dec 31, 2005
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                Patrick,

                That was exactly the reason.

                The typical uniform of the royal armies of the 18th C. was designed more for
                aesthetic considerations than practical ones.

                If practicality were the primary consideration uniforms would not have been
                composed of tightly tailored long coats that would not close over the
                soldier's chest, snug breeches and stockings, and a cocked hat.

                A short, full cut jacket or coat, trousers and sturdy leggings and shoes,
                and a slouch hat would be much more practical, and by the end of the Revwar
                uniforms had moved in that direction.

                The uniforms (including hair regulatios) were just one of the ways in which
                European armies of the day reflected the Enlightenment era monarchies which
                created them.


                YHS,

                R. J. Burke


                >From: Patrick J O'Kelley <goober.com@...>

                >Howdy,
                > Besides the cosmetic reasons, or fashion sense, what on earth
                >made the officers want to have soldiers with powdered hair?
                > I've wondered about that for awhile.
                >
                >
                >Patrick O'Kelley http://www.2nc.org/
              • Jay Callaham
                ... From: Patrick J O Kelley To: Revlist@yahoogroups.com Sent: Saturday, December 31, 2005 5:49 PM Subject: [Revlist] Powdering soldier s hair... why? Howdy,
                Message 7 of 8 , Jan 1, 2006
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                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: Patrick J O'Kelley
                  To: Revlist@yahoogroups.com
                  Sent: Saturday, December 31, 2005 5:49 PM
                  Subject: [Revlist] Powdering soldier's hair... why?


                  Howdy,
                  Besides the cosmetic reasons, or fashion sense, what on earth
                  made the officers want to have soldiers with powdered hair?
                  I've wondered about that for awhile.

                  <snip>

                  Why, why because that is the way that it is DONE! Ours is not to reason why; ours is not to make reply - - - (ooops - wrong war)

                  You need another reason?? The above is perfectly sufficient! Sink me - - you're looking for logic and practicality in the military?? When?

                  Gads! Odds fish, old boy! You were associated with the military for HOW long???????<^;\)

                  Jay
                  Coldm Reg't
                  4th Coy, Bde of Guards

                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • rgrpuck
                  Because........ The boss said so ? It was the Army and they wanted it that way ? ... earth ... reason why; ours is not to make reply - - - (ooops - wrong war)
                  Message 8 of 8 , Jan 1, 2006
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                    Because........

                    The boss said so ? It was the Army and they wanted it that way ?





                    -- In Revlist@yahoogroups.com, "Jay Callaham" <callaham@b...> wrote:
                    >
                    > ----- Original Message -----
                    > From: Patrick J O'Kelley
                    > To: Revlist@yahoogroups.com
                    > Sent: Saturday, December 31, 2005 5:49 PM
                    > Subject: [Revlist] Powdering soldier's hair... why?
                    >
                    >
                    > Howdy,
                    > Besides the cosmetic reasons, or fashion sense, what on
                    earth
                    > made the officers want to have soldiers with powdered hair?
                    > I've wondered about that for awhile.
                    >
                    > <snip>
                    >
                    > Why, why because that is the way that it is DONE! Ours is not to
                    reason why; ours is not to make reply - - - (ooops - wrong war)
                    >
                    > You need another reason?? The above is perfectly sufficient! Sink
                    me - - you're looking for logic and practicality in the military??
                    When?
                    >
                    > Gads! Odds fish, old boy! You were associated with the military
                    for HOW long???????<^;\)
                    >
                    > Jay
                    > Coldm Reg't
                    > 4th Coy, Bde of Guards
                    >
                    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    >
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