1930s Winter Fashion Statement: The Snow Cone Mask



    The halls of history are filled with a countless number of odd fashion fads and latest “must have” products — 1980s Big Hair, candy cigarettes and the Ouija Boards of the 1960s all come to mind.

    All of these inventions, however, pale in comparison to a short-lived urban fashion trend that began in Canada in the winter of 1939: The “Blizzard Cone”.

    Just to set the record straight, we’re not talking about an ice cream from Dairy Queen, though that does sounds really good at the moment.  Nope.  Instead, we’re talking about a clear plastic cone women would attach to the back of their head — the point of which stuck out roughly a foot from their nose!

    The idea behind this product was to protect the delicate faces of women as they walked through blowing snow.

    Alexis C. Madrigal described the product in the following words, “The triangular plastic snouts also make the young ladies appear to be fans of the Manichean main characters from that staple of Mad Magazine, Spy vs Spy.”

    As writer Maria Carter was quick to point out, this invention did come from the same decade that brought us baby cages overhanging New York skyscrapers and carbon-dioxide freckle freezers… Yet for two winters, these products were all the rage.

    Still, it is impossible to imagine how for two winters, these products were all the rage; however, the year of 1939 produced a perfect storm for such a bizarre invention of fashion — clear plastic had only recently become cheap and reliable enough to produce on a large scale and inventors were attempting to change the world with their new chemical compound.

    The availability of clear plastic along with 1939 producing blustery cold weather made the otherwise clear thinking Canadian public temporarily believe this product was a great idea… and who knows, maybe it was!

    Oddly enough, it seems that after the year’s winter had come and gone, the women who had purchased the product were unwilling to part ways with it during the summer months and soon the product was being used in major cities throughout the east coast.

    Richard Vagge writes, “These were issued around  1940 on horse carriage rides around Central Park in New York.  Mostly, in the Summer months when horse flies were especially troublesome…”

    Celebrities even got in on the fashion, wearing heavily tinted versions of the cones in order to maintain their privacy.

    Fortunately, these products, which are known as “blizzard cones” in the winter and “flycones” in the summer, were trendy for only two years.

    After this, it seems that public wasted no time forgetting this odd fashion trend… But they seem easy to make if you’re interested in trying to revive a forgotten relic of history!

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