Vintage Communication With A Fan!
The original use of the hand held fan dates way back in time when someone first used a palm tree leaf for cooling off from the hot sun. However over the years there has been a number of significant changes for the use of the hand held fan. In fact in the Victorian and later years women of high class society considered the fan a major accessory not to leave home without. It was stated that Queen Elizabeth I had a fan that matched almost every outfit she wore including specific fans for special occasions and holidays. Listed below are some myths that were explained in how women communicated with the hand held fan to men.
If a woman was fanning herself with
her left hand, it meant, “Don’t flirt with that woman” or if a woman was running her
fingers through the fanís ribs it meant, “I want to talk to you” and a woman slowly
fanning herself was saying, “Don’t waste your time, I don’t care about you.”
Fanning slowly: I am married.
Hiding the eyes behind an open fan: I love you.
Opening and closing the fan several times: You are cruel.
The fan placed near the heart: You have won my love.
Twirling the fan in the left hand: You are being watched.
Half-opened fan pressed to the lips: You may kiss me.
Fanning quickly: I am engaged.
History of Hand Held Fans
Hand held fans are not very popular in today’s society, however the first known hand held fan was discovered way before there was electricity.
History has it that the first “general” use of a hand held fan was found in eleven BC when someone who was hot used a palm leaf to cool off.
By the Seventeenth century hand held fans were used often as prominent accessories for the upper classes as fashion statements. As the years went on many of the prominent women such as Elizabeth I of England had several fans for every occasion and wardrobe. During the middle of the Nineteenth century (which was considered the year of the fan) a lot of more elaborate, textiles, embroideries, laces and feathers were introduced into fan makers creativity. Many techniques including hand painting began during this period. Fans also began to entice the advertising market.
As the years went by and the roles of women changed after World War I the hand held fans began to diminish.
However, during the 1920s there was still a large popularity for the feather fans and the business advertising flat fans. Many business including Sunbeam, Coca Cola, Pan Am and local communities business use flat hand held fans to advertise their company business as a free promotional give away. Many of these oldies are still sought after and collected.