A short history of the handheld fan.
Though still invaluable on a sweltering day, the handheld fan was once a much more common item. Employed in religious ceremonies, dances and as an accessory in the act of mourning, it had a ubiquitous presence throughout history from Mesoamerica to North Africa and Europe. Believed to have helped stoke flames during humankind’s earliest days, the handheld fan appears in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics dating from as early as 3000 B.C. In many of its earliest known representations, the fan was
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