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Sunday, 11 May 2014


As early as 12,000 years ago, in the New Stone Age, the skins of wild sheep were used to make fine coats. Because sheep are gentle and easily tamed, they were soon herded so that their meat could be used for food and their hides for shelter and clothing.

The biblical story of Joseph and his coat of many colors is found in Genesis 37.  Joseph's father, Jacob (or Israel), was particularly proud of him because he was born when Jacob was an old man. Jacob showed his favoritism when he tasked Joseph to keep tabs on his other sons, born to different wives, and made him an elaborate coat of many colors to signify his important standing in the family.
When Joseph began having dreams that he would become a powerful leader, his jealous brothers sold him into slavery. They tore the ornate coat and dipped it in blood to fool their father into thinking Joseph had been killed by an animal. It worked, but Joseph's prophetic dreams would come true as he became a powerful official in Egypt and would eventually confront his brothers and be reunited with his father.
Jacob blesses Joseph and gives him the coat.

The Bible has many references to wool. Joseph's "coat of many colors" (Gen. 37:3) was probably made of wool.

Draco, a brutal ancient Athenian law giver who inspired the word "draconian," was suffocated to death by coats.

Louis XIV had a coat with 123 diamond buttons on it.

In 1740 Admiral Edward Vernon started issuing a ration of diluted rum to English sailors. The drink became known as ‘grog’, after his nickname ‘Old Grog’, a reference to his fondness for wearing coats made of grogram cloth, a mix of silk and wool.

Scottish chemist Charles Macintosh (1766-1843) first began selling his Mackintosh coats on October 12, 1823. Charles Macintosh patented the waterproof cloth he used to make raincoats, after experimenting with waste rubber products from Glasgow's new gas works. He was anxious to protect the secret of his new waterproof cloth so he chose Highland workers to work in his Glasgow factory as they only spoke Gaelic. His novel mackintoshes immediately proved to be a hit though at first the rubbery substance became brittle and stiff in extremely cold weather.

In 1902, the coat hanger was invented Albert Parkhouse who was frustrated at the lack of hooks available to hang up his coat at work. His company thought it was a good idea and patented the invention and unfortunately, Parkhouse never received any money for his idea.

English insurance brokers refused to insure fur coats in December 1914, as thefts of them in London alone hit £50,000.

The very first trench coat ever invented was by Burberry and was made strictly for crawling and walking through trenches in World War I.

During the 1920s, wearing a full-length coat made of raccoon fur was a popular fad for male college students in the U.S.

A coat hanger is 44 inches long if straightened.

Sources, Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia © 1998 The Learning Company, Inc., Songfacts 

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