July 24, 1901 Buffalo Courier
|"Oh, mamma! Just look at my
hands and face! My complexion is just being ruined. They won't know
me when I get back!"
Large daubs of tan spread in thick coats on hands and faces, encircling the neck with a delicate pink tint and culminating in a decorative rose hue on the tip of the nose -- such were the souvenirs which thousands of people took away from the Exposition yesterday, and the foregoing exclamation, dropped from the lips of a young woman in a roller chair, voiced the general protest again the affliction. It is held out that if the Pan-American were kept up for a couple of years and people would not use anti-tan tonics, this country would eventually be inhabited by a race of Ethiopians. Tanned skin has become so much a characteristic of the Exposition that it is becoming known as a sort of Pan-American trade mark.
Attaches of the grounds have made a study of the tan epidemic and are utilizing it. The use it on the same principle that a horseman judges the horse, only instead of examining the teeth of a person to tell his age they judge by the thickness of his tan whether or not he has just made his first appearance on the grounds. The "Exposition tan" is distinguished from all other kinds by its coffee-colored density. It comes not only directly from the sun, but is shot off from the buildings and from the asphalt. Under these conditions it is said a person becomes tanned quicker and more thoroughly than in an open field. Different persons vary in their susceptibility to the tan, but at the Exposition persons heretofore claiming immunity have been coated with a saffron hue.
Makes All Look Alike
One point in favor of the growing prevalence
of tan is that it is making all people look alike. Americans are becoming
more like Spaniards, and this, it is contended, is proper since the Pan-American
Exposition is given to assimilate the countries of the South with the North,
and there should be no distinctions in complexions. Those people who centered
in the attractions on the grounds yesterday showed anything but a dread
of becoming tanned. The C.M.B.A. attractions scattered the people to all
parts of the grounds where the sun was most intense, and the reception
at the Cuban Building had to stand outside. Altogether it is anticipated
Editor's note: In 1901, the aging effects of exposure to direct sunlight were widely known; it was also an issue of social class. Standards of beauty dictated that a refined woman's skin be creamy white and unlined. That is part of the reason for the prevalence of umbrellas at the Pan. The necessity for being shielded from the sun also accounts for the T.S. Clarkson Umbrella and Parasol Rental concession at the Exposition Stadium (and elsewhere in the city).
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