2,000 Years of the Necktie: A Tie Singing Dixie

Updated August 5, 2020 | Infoplease Staff

A Tie Singing Dixie

by David Johnson
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Neckties Through the Ages

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It was too hot in the American south to wear lace or silk cravats. However, in the early 1800s plantation owners displayed their social superiority by wearing wide ribbons tied in bows. Worn with a low-collared shirt, the plantation tie was the first American neckwear.

River gamblers galore

The tie went west, becoming part of Mississippi River boat culture. Mark Twain himself was painted wearing a plantation tie. It is also part of the uniform, along with a fancy white shirt and a light suit, of the riverboat gambler. The leading proponent of the plantation tie nowadays is Colonel Sanders of chicken fame, who is never pictured without one.

Country music singers and square dancers occasionally sport plantation ties as well.

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