The Parisian revolt against handkerchiefs in 1930

It was the year 1930, and all mankind was asking all sorts of questions and giving all sorts of answers about the stars, the sun, the moon, or the purpose of existence. In Paris, as in all of Europe, sneezing was hidden behind handkerchiefs. In the handkerchiefs was hide the sneezing, the perfume of the ladies, or any trace of lipstick left more or less intentionally by a young lady on the gentlemen’s cheek or neck. The handkerchief seemed to be the ever present item in Europeans’ purses or pockets. In Paris, however, in 1930, a real riot broke out against the handkerchief. “Down with the handkerchiefs! We don’t need a handkerchief! ” – the Parisians shouted at the little object good at everything. Parisians had learned that the Japanese and Chinese used disposable paper handkerchiefs and suddenly discovered that the traces left by sneezing, some full of flu viruses or viruses, remained in their pocket or purse for too long. So the “French League Against the Use of the Handkerchief” was founded in Paris: “Let’s educate ourselves not to sneeze, it’s a matter of will and gymnastics of character.”

(General Illustrated Magazine, No. 5-6, Year IV, 1930)

Text author:

Maria Stroescu

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