Thursday, September 3, 2015

Mustache Guards

by Nancy Moser

Being a female, I can honestly say I have never once in my entire life, gave any thought to the travails and trials of drinking liquids while sporting a mustache.  Yet apparently this is a problem--problem enough for some savvy inventor to create the mustache cup and mustache guard. 

In the 1800's mustaches were de rigueur. Yet no proper Victorian man could condone a drippy or foamy mustache (or was it his wife who identified the problem?)  Either way, in the mid-1800's, Harvey Adams, a British potter, invented the mustache cup. The mustache spoon and guard soon followed.

Even the esteemed Reed & Barton silversmiths had patents on such things.

As with any invention, there were variations--some more successful than others:

I have little trouble imagining a gentleman pulling a discreet mustache guard out of his vest pocket (especially if it was fancily designed in sterling) but putting on the contraption above?  Over the ears, tucking the mustache into its trough for dinnertime?  I don't think so. Excuse me, my dear, but would you mind eating in the kitchen with the servants?  You're scaring the children.

In the early 1800's mustaches were prim, but as the century progressed, they grew wilder and bushier. Case in point the British royal family. Albert, the husband of Queen Victoria had no need for a mustache cup.  Their son, Albert Edward, the Prince of Wales (and eventually King Edward VII) started out a bit bushier than his father, but eventually succumbed to the full monty. (how did they protect their beards from crumbs and spills?)

Even our own Teddy Roosevelt gave in to the bushy style.

Though some go too far...

Mustaches went by the wayside starting in the 1920's, though they had a resurgence in the 1970's.  Case in point Tom Selleck. 

My own husband had a mustache during this time, but I spared him the embarrassment of sharing his photo from this era. Sorry, honey, but Tom wore it better. No matter who wears it, I'm not a fan.

If you or your loved ones still choose this style, fear not!  You can get a "Bucardo Mustache Mug" on Amazon.  Or even a "whisker dam". 

Drink up!

NANCY MOSER is the best-selling author of 25 novels, including Love of the Summerfields, Christy Award winner, Time Lottery; Washington’s Lady, Mozart’s Sister, The Journey of Josephine Cain, and Masquerade. Nancy has been married for forty years—to the same man. They have three grown children and five grandchildren, and live in the Midwest. She’s earned a degree in architecture; run a business with her husband; traveled extensively in Europe; and has performed in various theatres and choirs. She knits voraciously, kills all her houseplants, and can wire an electrical fixture without getting shocked. She is a fan of anything antique—humans included. Author Website, Footnotes from History Blog, Author Blog/Inspirational humor, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Good Reads  

Read my latest book Love of the Summerfields: 1880 England. The lives and loves of manor and village intertwine. Earl and shopkeeper, countess and clerk—all will be stunned and transformed by a secret that begs to be revealed. When the Weston family returns to Summerfield Manor at the close of the London social season, both village and manor relax into their normal existence. But for four women, turmoil awaits. Each must battle the restrictions of her position as her faith and character are tested. Each will have a choice to make between her own happiness and a truth that will turn their carefully-ordered world upside down.


  1. Well I had a great comment but cyberspace swallowed it ... fascinating post. Thanks for including Tom Selleck LOL.

  2. It's hard to imagine a man wearing one of those mustache guards in public. I wonder if they did. I bet they looked rather comical. I'm not a fan of mustaches neither--never liked it when my husband had one.

  3. I was going to post a picture of my husband's mustache in the 1970's and 80's but decided it would scare people too much.

  4. Nancy, this is all new to me. Thanks for this fun post!

  5. Who knew?! That was too funny! My stepdad has had a few doozies over the years. I love your books, Nancy! Thank you <3

  6. Oh, I wish I had one of those to give my husband years back when he had a mustache. Kissing my husband when his mustache smelled of buttery popcorn just didn't turn my crank.