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Wearing Wigs - Wigs were fashionable throughout the 18th century for those men and women who could afford them. Wigs were relatively expensive to own and maintain, so they were typically adopted only by the upper classes for use by themselves and potentially their servants. Wigs could also denote the occupation of the wearer, as they were associated with certain professions like the law and medicine. Not all British soldiers would have worn a wig, but as depicted in the Outlander series, officers often did., Photo image of  broken clay wig curler:Wig Hair Curler Fragments, Date: ca. 1700-1799, Site Name: Brookes Inn, Site Number:18PR386/15,75 - The wig curler fragments shown here are made of white “pipe” clay. They were recovered at the Brookes Inn, which was an establishment for food and lodging from ca. 1745-1853. Brookes Inn was located along a main thoroughfare in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, which has been the Prince George’s County seat since 1721. The town was also the home of one of the colony’s tobacco warehouses, where farmers had to bring their crops for inspection after tobacco regulations were adopted in 1747. People therefore had to travel to Upper Marlboro to attend court or sell their crops, and they would need lodging while in town. People who wore wigs were more likely to do so in a public venue like the Brookes Inn than in the privacy of their own homes, since wigs were a way of showing status, awareness of fashionable attire, and respectability.  Wig curlers are rarely found on rural sites in Maryland, which is not terribly surprising since only the upper echelons of society would have worn wigs, and wig shops would not be expected outside of population centers like Annapolis and Baltimore. Those who did wear wigs might not have their own wig curlers, since they were primarily needed when the wig was originally made. Sections of hair were wrapped around the curlers and then boiled and dried, sometimes with additional treatments to make a frizzy look (Diderot 1751-1765). Once this was accomplished, the hair sections were sewn into the wig and the curlers were no longer needed for everyday care. This suggests that someone might have offered wig-making or wig repair and maintenance services at or near Brookes Inn. However, only two fragments were found, and both could be from a single wig curler, so it is not wise to jump to conclusions. People are creative and adaptive, and a wig curler could be useful for anything from acting as a spool for a piece of twine, to posing as a toy rolling pin for children playing at cooking. While the existence of the curler is indicative of the popularity of wigs in the 18th century, it is also possible that these particular fragments represent adaptive reuse instead of wig making activities at Brookes Inn., Illustration of various tools used for wig-making and types of wigs worn in the 18th century, caption reads:Diderot's Encyclopedie (1751-1765) illustrates various tools used for wig-making and types of wigs worn in the 18th century. A) Wig curlers, also known as bilboquets. B) A packet of hair before it is styled. C) A hair packet wound with bilboquets that is ready for boiling. D) The curled hair packet after it is dried and the curlers removed. E) A wig style known in French as a peruke à la brigadier which is similar to wigs depicted on soldiers in Outlander. Images from Diderot’s Encyclopedie courtesy of the Robert Charles Lawrence Ferguson Collection, the Society of the Cincinnati, Washington, DC.