Thursday, June 20, 2013

What's a Hair Rat?

On Wednesday I shared a couple "common" items from the turn of the twentieth century. These items would have been easily identifiable to most people at the time. Now, however, they look completely foreign to us! Imagine what they would think if they saw a laptop computer...

Here are the items.

Item #1 is a glove stretcher. This would have been used
most often by a woman. When she washed and dried her gloves,
they would shrink. She would put the narrow
end into her glove fingers and squeeze the handles,
stretching out the material. 

Item #2 is a hair receiver. It would have sat on a lady's
dresser. As she combed her hair, she would take the pieces
which came out on the brush and place them in the receiver.
Hair was commonly used in making jewelry, mourning
wreaths and hair "rats." A rat would be a clump of hair
that they would pin in place, and then wrap their existing hair
around it to give more volume.

This is an example of a mourning wreath. The flowers
were made of hair from the lady who died.

This was the picture of the "Gibson Girl" she
was the epitome of feminine beauty. Her hairstyle
would have been produced with a hair rat to give it
height and volume.

This is a hair rat in the early stages.
This picture came from Gibson Glamour Blog
and was hair collected over a two week
period of time. Once hairsprays were
invented, the hair rat went out of style.
What about you? Were you surprised at the items above? They're definitely from a different way of life!
Next week I will be hosting three writing friends at my house for a writing retreat! I'm really excited to spend some time relaxing and fellowshipping with these gals. I'm taking a blogging break, but I'll be back on July 1st with a Minnesota Monday post...and I'm sure it will have something to do with the retreat. :)


  1. Hair rat. That just doesn't sound good. Haha! Fun facts, Gabe!

    1. Isn't it amazing how our culture changes? Something so common now grosses people out!

  2. EW, a rat in my hair...that spreads all sorts of ugly pictures. Hehe.

    And YAY for those three friends you're hosting next week....this one cannot wait!

    1. Neither can I!!!!!! See you on Wednesday!!!!! :)

  3. Ooooo, dude, a hair rat. Wow. SOOOO wrong. But fun to know!

    1. I thought a woman from Texas would appreciate anything that could produce bigger hair!! ;) Thank God for hairspray, right?!?!

  4. No wonder my mom used to always say I had a rat's nest in my hair. I wonder if that hearkened back to the day when hair rats were fashionable? :) This was fascinating. Especially to see the pictures. so glad you shared these. :)

    1. That is interesting, Jeanne. I'd never thought to connect the two, but it makes sense! I'm going to be sharing more items like this. I had fun. :)

  5. I knew a rat was used to give volume, but I didn't realize it was actual hair! Honestly, it makes good sense. At least it would match!

    1. It was a smart way to add volume! Thanks for stopping by, Sarah!

  6. I knew what a rat was, but hadn't given much thought to what it was made from. I'm okay with that, but I could pass on the wreaths made from hair! :)

    It's great to meet you, Gabrielle! Thanks so much for stopping by and following my blog. Thanks also for signing up for the blog tour! I appreciate it. :) Diane Estrella and I will be in touch with you in the next week or so. Wishing you the best with your homeschool endeavors!


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