Category: 1850’s Trends


Poke Bonnet (1850’s)

In the 1850’s, the “poke bonnet” hat reached a zenith in women’s fashion. A poke bonnet is a women’s bonnet (hat) in the shape of a hood, featuring a projecting rim on the front side, which would shade the face of the wearer, and a small crown at the back. Poke bonnets typically had a strap that allowed the hat to be tied under the chin. It was called a poke bonnet because there was room in the back of the hat that allowed all of the woman’s hair to be “poked” inside of it.


Prizefighting or Bare-Knuckle Boxing (1850’s)

Prize fighting, or pugilism or bare-knuckle boxing as it is also known as, became very popular during the middle 1800’s. Prizefighting is one of the oldest known sports. Two thousand year old paintings on the walls of Egyptian tombs depict ancient Sumerians competing in boxing matches. Boxing was an Olympic sport in 688 B.C. In ancient Greece, two men would sit face-to-face with fists wrapped in strips of leather, and strike each other repeatedly until one fell unconscious or was killed. Roman fighters wore leather straps plated with metal (called cestuses) in order to keep the lengths of prizefighting matches short.