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- [Reporter] Nylon stockings make me think
of Melanie Griffith in Working Girl.
But they actually have an interesting past,
and it involves the U.S. Army,
gravy juice, and department store riots.
Until the 1930s, women wore silk and nylon stockings,
because having your legs uncovered was not acceptable.
But then World War II happened.
The U.S. military began buying up nylon and silk
and using it to make parachutes and tires and cords.
So women donated their stockings to the war effort.
The official motto for women during World War II
was "make do and mend.”
Wartime ads told women
that they needed to keep up appearances.
So, when life gave them lemons, women in the '40s,
they made liquid stockings.
It was a makeup for your legs, kind of like self-tanner.
It looked like stockings if applied well.
Women even drew the seam line on the back of their calves.
And this was not easy.
Some salons offered it as a service.
But if this foundation wasn't around,
women used gravy juice.
That brownish hue mimicked the color of liquid stockings,
and worked.
Soon after the end of World War II,
DuPont, the big name in stocking manufacturing,
said they would be producing women's nylons again.
And in 1946, a store in Pittsburgh announced
that finally they had them.
Roughly 40,000 women showed up
only to find out 13,000 pairs were available.
Fighting ensued, and 1946 became known
as the year of the Nylon Riots.
Obviously, DuPont got their act together.
And by the end of that year, the nylon depression ended.
And out went the gravy tights.
Thank goodness.
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Painted Pantyhose: How a Nylon Shortage Inspired DIY Stockings

115 Folder Collection
許大善 published on October 22, 2019
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