Monday, September 26, 2011

Church Fans

I recently went to see The Help (which was amazing, hilarious and just all-around fantastic) - and one of the tiny nuances that caught my attention were the well-loved fans the women had with them at church. There was something so pretty about them, so I of course immediately set out upon an intense Google search, and discovered the 'history' behind the paper flabellum. The hand-held fans were a vital part of worship in the American South, in a time where modern air conditioning was not a luxury afforded by most churches. And although frequently depicting images of The Last Supper, or a replica of one of Warner Sallman's well-known biblical scenes on the front; the backs were considered prime real estate for funeral homes, insurance companies or even the local Buster Brown - pretty much anyone hoping to gain the attention of the wholesome homemaker 'fanning away the heat' at the Sunday Morning sermon.

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