Regency Hazards – Pins

 “A young lady in France had the fatal habit of cleaning her ears with pins; a   trifling humour was the result, which terminated lately in a cancer. The brass and quicksilver used in the preparation of pins may easily account for this circumstance, and which render them so very pernicious to the teeth when used as tooth-picks.”

— La Belle Assemblee, Vols 17-18, Jan-Dec 1818

I shan’t say anything further on the matter. You’ve been warned.

From the same issue of said Magazine--a detail of evening dress with white satin turban and pear-shaped pearl earrings.

From the same issue of said Magazine–a detail of evening dress with white satin turban and pear-shaped pearl earrings.


9 thoughts on “Regency Hazards – Pins

  1. Goodness gracious. Found this courtesy of Ella, and am sitting here shaking my head. In my last book, The Abiding Heart, I had the problem of a new mother with no experience of caring for infants (and poor, to boot, so she was going to have to, although she was temporarily in comfortable circumstances) learning to put towelling on a baby’s bottom and having to figure out how to keep the straight pin–this being Regency and thus before the time of safety pins–from poking the infant. I invented little pads of wadded cotton that the mother (or nurse) kept up her sleeve, pulling bits out to cover the sharp point of the pin as she changed the baby. So when I saw Ella’s reference to pins, I thought maybe I’d find out what the truth was! Sigh.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yikes! Do they mean hairpins or stickpins? I’m afraid they mean sharp, pointy stickpins 😦 What in the world would ever inspire someone to clean their ears or teeth with one? 😦


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