Men found paper clothing parts convenient because laundry services in those days were unreliable, expensive, and available mainly in large urban centers.America was still predominantly a rural culture, and before the advent of modern washing machines in the twentieth centruy, laundry was an onerous, labor-intensive task undertaken by women once weekly on Blue Tuesday.
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And all the evidence that I can find suggests that the fad for disposable paper cuffs ended well before 1900. owners were inventors first", The Saratogian 8/24/2009: During the 1870s, a peculiar clothing fad swept the country.
Disposable cotton-based paper collars were introduced to the upper classes as a way of maintaining a fresh, white collar rather than attempting to clean soiled cloth collars.
The linear regression between the mean density of neurons per cubic millimeter in the substantia nigra and the UPDRS3 score was computed with and without control cases.
Progression of neuronal loss and of scores on the motor subscale of the Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS3). Florham Park, NJ: Macmillan Healthcare Information; 193-163Google Scholar Hilker RSchweitzer KCoburger S et al.
"It would have been a realistic little touch, do you see? Still, I rather doubt that this was a common real-world practice in the 1936-1950 period.
Update #2 — And, as Robert Coren points out in the comments, there's this scene from Given how popular Chaplin was, this might well explain why the concept and the associated idiom rose to prominence in the ten or fifteen years after the movie was released.
Still, the idiom grew in popularity at a time (the late 1940s) when the actual practice of writing notes on cuffs must have been nearly dead, at best a memory for older members of the American population — or, perhaps more likely, an image from that Charlie Chaplin movie.
JAMAJAMA Network Open JAMA Cardiology JAMA Dermatology JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery JAMA Internal Medicine JAMA Neurology JAMA Oncology JAMA Ophthalmology JAMA Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery JAMA Pediatrics JAMA Psychiatry JAMA Surgery Archives of Neurology & Psychiatry (1919-1959) ) of 5 control cases and 18 cases with Lewy body disease (including idiopathic Parkinson disease and dementia with Lewy bodies).
Medbery and Mann recognized the potential, and rented space at the Blue Mill to establish the Glen Paper Collar Co.
In their first year, the partnership produced 9 million collars. In 1871, they built a five-story, 60-foot by 40-foot addition, reportedly constructed in 20 days.
1941 So I figured that the OED just hadn't researched the idiom adequately.