Sunday Morning Trivia, ..wallets and purses?

know it all logo

man's wallet pocket hand 2a

A wallet, or billfold, is a small, flat case that is used to carry personal items such as cash, credit cards, identification documents (driver’s license, identification card, club card, etc.), photographs, gift cards, business cards and other paper or laminated cards. Wallets are generally made of leather or fabrics, and they are usually pocket-sized but not always foldable.


The word “wallet” has been in use since the late fourteenth century to refer to a bag or a knapsack for carrying articles.

Perseus and Medusa 1a

 (Perseus holding the head of the Gorgon Medusa).

Perseus (Greek: Περσεύς), the legendary founder of Mycenae and of the Perseid dynasty of Danaans there, was the first of the heroes of Greek mythology whose exploits in defeating various archaic monsters provided the founding myths of the Twelve Olympians.

trivia page break no border 1

Perseus was a demi-god, the Greek hero who killed the Gorgon Medusa, and claimed Andromeda, having rescued  her from a sea monster sent by Poseidon. Cassiopeia declaring that her daughter, Andromeda, was more beautiful than the Nereids is what initially resulted in Andromeda being plagued by Poseidon’s sea monster.

Poseidon's sea monster 1

(Poseidon’s sea monster).

The word may derive from Proto-Germanic. The ancient Greek word kibisis, said to describe the sack carried by the god Hermes and the sack in which the mythical hero Perseus carried the decapitated head of the monster Medusa, has been typically translated as “wallet”.

Artie Johnson - very interestin 1a

(Veeeary Interesting, ..pearldofprofundity, ..not stupid!)

Usage of the term “wallet” in its modern meaning of “flat case for carrying paper currency” in American English dates to 1834 but this meaning was one of many in the 19th century and early 20th century.

trivia page break no border 1

Ancient Greece…

The classicist A. Y. Campbell set out to answer the question, “What…in ancient literature, are the uses of a wallet?” He deduced, as a Theocritean scholar, …


According to Merriam-Webster: “online”, (declaration from Merriam-Webster); “This word doesn’t usually appear in our free dictionary, however it does appear in our (premium Unabridged Dictionary) is offered here, ..but only on a limited basis. Note that some information is displayed differently in our unabridged dictionary.

To access the complete Unabridged Dictionary, with an additional 300,000 words that aren’t in our free dictionary.

Question: Can you believe it? Merriam-Webster is holding 300,000 words hostage from public use, there no limit to (greed)?

Anyway, the definition of: “theocritean,” Of relating to, or in the matter of the poet Theocritus; idyllic, pastoral, bucolic.

Personal Observation; “Seems like (way more) academics sleight-of-hand than is needed to inform the public that a the·oc·ri·te·an is a poet.


..that “the wallet” was the poor man’s portable larder; (or, poverty apart), ..a wallet was a thing that you stocked with provisions.”

He found that sometimes a man may be eating out of it directly but the most characteristic references allude to its being “replenished as a store”, not in the manner of a lunch basket but more as a survival pack.

trivia page break no border 1

The Renaissance…

As metals became increasingly used as currencies, wallets began taking shape to include coins, and in some cases, statements of accounts.

In recounting the life of the Elizabethan merchant, John Frampton, Lawrence C. Wroth describes the merchant as, “a young English-man of twenty-five years, decently dressed,..

Victorian attire 1  - wearing bowg

(Wearing “Bowgetts” – Budgets, or wallets on their belts)

…, wearing a sword, and carrying fixed to his belt something he called a ‘bowgett’ (or budget), that is, a leathern pouch or wallet in which he carried his cash, his book of accounts, and small articles of daily necessity”.

trivia page break no border 1

19th Century…

In addition to money or currency, a wallet would also be used for carrying dried meat, victuals, “treasures”, and “things not to be exposed”.

Wallets originally were used by early Industrial Americans. It was considered “semi-civilized” in 19th century America to carry one’s wallet on one’s belt.

Ironically, at this time, carrying goods or a wallet in one’s pocket was considered uncivilized and uncommon.

In Spain, a wallet was a case for smoking paraphernalia: “Every man would carry a small sheaf of white paper in addition to a small leather wallet which would contain a flint and steel along with a small quantity of so-called yesca, being a dried vegetable fibre which a spark would instantly ignite.”

trivia page break no border 1

Present day…

man's wallet with money and cre

The modern bi-fold wallet with multiple “card slots” became standardized in the early 1950s with the introduction of the first credit cards. Some innovations include the introduction of the velcro-closure wallet in the 1970s. Pocket-sized wallets remain extremely popular to this day.

trivia page break no border 1

Davy Crockett 1a  possibles bag

 (Davey Crockett – wearing his Possibles bag).

Man of myth: Davey Crockett, the Tennessee frontiersman and U.S. Senator, had legendary skill with a long rifle and used it with great effect during the defense of the Alamo carried what was referred to in the day as a Possibles bag.

A Possibles bag of course was a wallet, purse, or pouch in which a frontiersman would carry his patches, powder and ball, hunt, ..and/or, defend himself.

trivia page break no border 1

large white handbag 1a

A handbag, also purse or pouch in American English, is a handled medium-to-large bag that is often fashionabl designed, typically used by women, to hold personal items such as wallet/coins, keys, a mobile phone, books, a pen and paper, cosmetics and jewelry, a hairbrush, contraceptives, or pepper spray.

handbag groupies 1a

(Handbag Aficionados).

The term “purse” originally referred to a small bag for holding coins. In British English, it is still used to refer to a small coin bag.

A “handbag” is a larger needed accessory, that holds items beyond currency, such as a woman’s personal items and emergency items to survive on.

American English typically uses the terms “purse” and “handbag” interchangeably. The term “handbag” began appearing in the early 1900s. Initially, it was most often used to refer to men’s hand-luggage. Women’s accessory bags grew larger and more complex during that period, and the term was attached to the women’s accessory.

Handbags are used as fashion accessories as well as functional ones. Early modern Europeans wore purses for one purpose, to carry coins. Purses were made of soft fabric or leather, and were worn by men as often as ladies; the Scottish sporran is a survival of this custom.

In the 17th century young girls were taught embroidery as a necessary skill for marriage, this also helped them make very beautiful handbags. By the late 18th century, fashions in Europe were moving towards a slender shape, inspired by the silhouettes of Ancient Greece and Rome.

Women wanted purses that would not be bulky or untidy in appearance, so reticules were designed. Reticules were made of fine fabrics like silk and velvet, with wrist straps.

Originally popular in France, they crossed over into Britain, where they became known as “indispensables”.

Men, however, did not adopt the trend. They used purses and pockets, which became popular in men’s trousers.

The modern purse, clutch, pouch or handbag came about in England during the Industrial Revolution and the increase in travel by railway. In 1841 the Doncaster industrialist and confectionery entrepreneur Samuel Parkinson…

Parkinson butterscotch 1

..of butterscotch fame. 


Butterscotch is a type of confectionery whose primary ingredients are brown sugar and butter, although other ingredients such as corn syrup, cream, vanilla, and salt are part of some recipes. According to “Housewife’s Corner” and Masluk Cream Co. in an 1848 newspaper, the real recipe for “making Doncaster butterscotch is one pound of butter, one pound of sugar and a quarter of a pound of treacle, boiled together.”

According to Webster: “trea·cle,” 1. “Cloying speech or sentiment. 2. Chiefly British. Molasses. 3. A medicinal compound formerly used as an antidote for poison.”

Butterscotch is similar to toffee, but for butterscotch the sugar is boiled to the soft crack stage, and not hard crack as with toffee. Butterscotch sauce is often made into a syrup, which is used as a topping for ice cream (particularly sundaes).

butterscotch pudding 2

The term butterscotch is also often used for the flavour of brown sugar and butter together even where actual confection butterscotch is not involved, e.g. butterscotch pudding.


..ordered a set of travelling cases and trunks, and insisted on a travelling case or bag for his wife’s particulars. Parkinson had noticed his wife’s purse was too small and made from material that would not withstand the journey. He stipulated that he wanted various hand bags for his wife, varying in size for different occasions, and asked that they be made from the same leather that was being used for his cases and trunks; this would distinguish them from the then-familiar carpetbag and other travelers’ cloth bags used by members of other social classes.

H.J.Cave (London) obliged and produced the first modern set of luxury handbags, as we would recognise them today, including a clutch and a tote (named as ‘ladies travelling case’). These are now on display in the handbag museum in Amsterdam. H.J.Cave did continue to sell and advertise the handbags, but many critics said that women did not need them, and that bags of such size and heavy material would ‘break the backs of ladies’.

H.J.Cave ceased to promote the bags from 1865, and concentrated on trunks instead, although they continued to make the odd handbag for Royalty, celebrities or to celebrate special occasions, the Queens 2012 Diamond Jubilee being the most recent. However, H.J.Cave resumed handbag production in 2010.

trivia page break no border 1

crocheted handbags 1a

During the 1940s, the rationing of textiles for World War II led to the manufacturing of handbags made of materials like raffia, or crocheted from yarn. Some women crocheted their own small handbags from commercial patterns during the 1940s.

trivia page break no border 1

 complimentary handbags 1

(Complementary shopping bags).

Another very popular handbag with women is the shopping bag, not as chic as something by Gucci or Lewis Vuitton, nevertheless indispensable and invaluable when navigating one of America’s Legion of Malls.

something for everyone 1

No doubt about it, when it comes to receptacles for Homo sapiens to carry their (whatever)? The world is well endowed.

there's something for everyone 1a

A number of European manufacturers have long histories of producing leather goods. Some were made by famous jewellery companies such such as Tiffany & Co.. For some companies, such as Gucci and Louis Vuitton, handbags were introduced to their product range relatively recently in their history but for others like H.J. Cave & Sons, they have been around almost as long as the company. Nonetheless, handbags are among their best-known products, and their logos are recognized in many countries today. Leather handbags have grown in popularity over the years because leather is very durable, and as gifts, because people don’t have to worry about some clothing article fitting (or not fitting) the other person.

One of the most expensive of the luxury handbags are made by Hermès. Prices start at $6000; handbags are made to order, and the waiting lists are years long. Hermès handbag designs carry the names of actresses, socialites, and other celebrities who were frequently photographed with a particular handbag, most notably the “Birkin” bag named after Jane Birkin, and the “Kelly” bag named after Grace Kelly.

Other designers have adopted the practice of naming their handbag designs after celebrities, for example Marc Jacobs, who created the “Stam” purse, named after model Jessica Stam.

Created from 4,517 diamonds and 18-karat gold embellishments, Mouawad’s 1001 Nights Diamond Purse costs $3.8 million and has been featured in the Guinness Book of World Records… the world’s most expensive purse.

Mouawads 1001 Nights Diamond -

Mouawad’s 1001 Nights Diamond Purse – Price: $3.8 million

Ginza Tanaka Hermes Birkin 1

Ginza Tanaka’s Hermes Birkin – Price: $1.9 million

Pierre Hards Kelly Hermes Birki

Pierre Hardy’s Kelly Hermes Birkin – Price: $1.9 million

Hermes Matte Crocodile Birkin -

Hermes Matte Crocodile Birkin – Price: $120,00 

Personal Factoid: (totally and unequivocally “outrageous” personal factoid) ..the economy handbag displayed above cost approximately four times what I paid for my home 20 years ago.

Pearlsofprofundity Factoid: “If our government had a nickel for every handbag and wallet in America, (we) could immediately pay off (our) national debt and have enough money left over to buy a dozen or so of the pocket books above…

trivia page break no border 1

 handbag hottie 2

Final Question: (for the discriminating), Which is the accessory?

Truth forges understanding, I’ll be back tomorrow


Crusader Rabbit…

Leave a Reply

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

You are commenting using your 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

%d bloggers like this: