R is for Rope – Hair Rope

Pope County Museum A-Z is a continuing feature of our blog. Periodically, I will highlight an item or items from our Museum collection.

2007.3237zThis hair rope belonged to Anna Wrolson. She married Andrew Torguson 1/6/1872 and died 11/11/1889.
The rope makes sort of a necklace. It is woven in several different patterns and forms a complete loop. The center of the loop has a sliding bead – also made of hair.

According to Joanne Haug, “During the mid-nineteenth century hair work became a popular drawing-room occupation, as fashionable as the much-practiced knitting, netting, and crocheting.  By acquiring knowledge of this art, ladies were able to manufacture 2007.3237ythe hair of beloved friends and relatives into bracelets, chains, rings, earrings, and thus insure that they could actually wear the treasured memento they prized.  The objects which were made in hair are more numerous than is generally supposed.  An ingenious Victorian hair-worker thought of many little domestic articles which could be either made of hair or ornamented with it. The following were some of the commonest applications: bracelets, brooches, earrings, rings, chains, necklaces, shawl pins, cravat pins, purses, bags, book markers, pencil cases, guards, studs, stud chains, scent bottles, walking sticks and even riding whips.”

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