Ever wonder why those 18th century wigs went out of fashion?

Here's a good little story...


George III (wikipedia)

The fashion in the day for men was horsehair (or goat) wigs,
which tended to be scratchy and bug infested

They were powdered with finely ground starch
scented with orange flower, lavender or orris root

When the government started to tax wigs to help fund
the American War of Independence,
men started to ditch the wigs
and just powder their own hair by the 1780s

In 1795, the government taxed the powder,
and out went the wig and powder fashion all together

Meanwhile, another interesting tax sprang up
which you still see evidence of in England 
and other European countries today

The Window Tax




Introduced by King William III in 1696,
this unpopular tax was seen as taxing 'light and air'

The thought was 
the bigger the house, the more windows it would have,
thus the more tax the occupants would pay

A house with fewer than twenty windows could escape the window tax

This tax was easy to access from the street by tax collectors
so occupants started to brick up their windows

Although the window tax was repealed in 1851
under Queen Victoria,
you still see evidence of it today

The horsehair wigs,
not so much
:)

- photo by me -
Source: Wikipedia 1, 2

 
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