What’s a Hand Cooler?


Way back in the 1800s, long before they had air conditioning, they had hand coolers.    Wikipedia explains why: “Small, cooled, egg-shaped items originally made of porcelain, marble, glass or crystal and just slightly smaller than an actual egg would be nestled in the palms of Victorian ladies to ward off the possibility of the social humiliation of a wet, warm handshake.


Since extending one’s hand was the common gesture for the invitation to dance, hand coolers became invaluable as during that time it was unacceptable for ladies to have hot, sweaty hands. In France during this time period, it was expected that a ladies’ hand would be cool and dry when kissed in greeting by an admiring male. This simple fact was made all the more problematic by the fact that women wore layers upon layers of clothing as part of the Victorian Fashions trapping in body heat. One means of dealing with this social indignity was the hand cooler.

It was also believed that cooling one’s hands would help ward off disease and prevent the common issue of fainting from wearing all those heavy clothes. Hand Coolers have become one of the forgotten useful items that fall under the heading of Victorian and now can only be found at Johnny-Sells.”

Wow!  Wikipedia mentioned Johnny-Sells!  Well, not really.  I sort of slipped that in there myself.    But you can, in fact, find Hand Coolers at Johnny-Sells.  They are beautiful Steuben Crystal, highly collectible and they will definitely keep your hand cool.

About johnnysells

Johnny-Sells is an online retail store in Chicago. We carry a wide variety of products including women's & men's clothing, shoes and accessories. We also carry collectibles, including Christopher Radko Christmas ornaments and Dept 56 buildings.
This entry was posted in Collectibles and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s