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The JC Archive Blog No. 8 : Your beard and how it works

News from 1867 suggests that beards might be something more than a fashionable fad...

    Your Beard and How it Works

    Do you have a beard? Why?

    People grow beards for many reasons, but mainly for cosmetic or religious purposes. Yet you might want to grow a beard for another reason altogether – for your health.

     In the autumn cold of 1867, The Jewish Chronicle had this to say about beards (25-10-1867):

    UTILITY OF BEARDS
    A foreign medical paper writes :—

    "There are more solid inducements for wearing the beard than the mere improvement of a man's personal appearance, and the cultivation of such, an aid to the every day diplomacy of life.

    Nature combining, as she never fails to do, the useful with the ornamental, provides us with a far better respirator than science could ever make, and one that is never so hideous to wear as that black seal upon the face that looks like a passport to the realms of suffering and death.

    ◦ The hair of the moustache not only absorbs the moisture and miasma of the fogs, but it strains the air from the dust and soot of our great cities.

    ◦ It acts also in the most scientific manner, by taking heat from the warm breath as it leaves the chest, and supplying it to the cold air taken in

    ◦ It is not only a respirator, but, with the beard entire, we are provided with a comforter as well; and these are never left at home, like the umbrellas, and all such appliances, whenever they are wanted.

    ◦ Moffat and Livingstone, the African explorers, and many other travellers, say that in the night no wrapper can equal the beard.

    ◦ A remarkable thing is, too, that the beard, like the hair of the head, protects against the heat of the sun; but, more than this, it becomes moist with the perspiration, and then, by evaporation, cools the skin.

    A man who accepts this protection of nature may face the rudest storm and the hardest winter.

    He may go from the hottest room into the coldest air without any dread; and we verily believe he might almost sleep in a morass with impunity - at least, his chance of escaping a terrible fever would be better than his beardless companion's.


    Do you have a beard?

    If not, maybe you should grow one…

    Read the next blogpost

     

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