Lt Col Dalgleish’s red coat from the war with the American colonies

“It is not the black clothes that are trying to the sight – black is the steadiest of all colours to work at; white and all bright colours makes the eyes water after looking at ’em for any long time; but of all colours scarlet, such as is used for regimentals, is the most blinding, it seems to burn the eyeballs, and makes them ache dreadful … everything seems all of a twitter, and to keep changing its tint.  There’s more military tailors blind than any others.”

Henry Mayhew, London Labour and the London Poor, vol 1, pp 342-43.  London 1862.

Red coat


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