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A Skelding Summary

Alvin Stardust and Michael Jackson owe Monsieur Xavier Jouvin of Grenoble a debt of gratitude. For in 1834 Jouvin invented a cutting process that made possible gloves of precise fit available at relatively cheap cost to a broader range of consumer. In creating a manufacturing industry, the rest as they say became history.

Naturally gloves originate in the dim and distant past. One early and famous example being a linen pair discovered in Egypt in the tomb of King Tutankhamen dating some 1,400 years BC. Gloves were for many thousands of years a symbol of wealth, power and manhood. They were often worn by the Nobility, the Clergy and the Merchant classes.

These gloves were, more often than not, intricately embroidered and embossed with jewels & coinage. They also served as pledges, challenges to combat (you just knew there was going to be trouble if someone slapped you on the cheek with a pair, or literally "threw down the gauntlet").

Gloves were an outward sign of status such as demonstrating your right to keep hawks. Indeed, believe it or not they became a bone of political contention in the England of the 1600s where Puritans (fundamental Protestants) took grave exception to this conspicuous display of wealth. In the days of the English Republic or Commonwealth (1649-1660) under Oliver and Richard Cromwell, any such sartorial display was virtually prohibited by law. You may also remember that Cromwell didn't much like May Poles, the Irish or Kings either for that matter.

Now, in the major Western cities they still display the well kept person though they don't tend to be shown off much on the catwalk except ones that go right up the arm worn with haute couture evening dresses.

Practical gloves are still a raging success. No biker, hiker or wicket keeper would be without the best in gloves and the finer surgical variety are so popular that they are sold like tissues in handy boxes. Hands that wash dishes are even better with their use and they are great on the building site.

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Index of things

Histories of Things
By Laurence Skelding

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