Ever wanted to know the history of men’s underwear? Don’t worry…I’ll be brief.

Before the 1880’s underwear was practically non-existent. Maybe that’s why they were called “unmentionables.”

Then some scientists recommended all parts of the body except the face should be covered to protect from germs. So, folks began to put on calico or white flannel undies. Wearers even starched them! Starched creases proved terribly dangerous, and led to much discomfort, plus an occasional injury.

It’s said that during the famous Gold Rush, miners also wrapped themselves in both silk and coarse wool underwear. It’s hard to guess which ones miners wore, because few posed for photos without their pants (although a few reportedly lost their shirts).

One other possibility: Maybe they tried long underwear, those neck-to-shin garments I wear to the beach. (This may also explain why I sweat so much during the summer.)

Well, I’m running out of typing space, so – as one pair of underpants said to the other – I gotta fly.

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