Professor Hamiltons remarks at the Buffalo College on asphyxia, and particularly that torm caused by wearing tight cravats, may be I interest to the general reader. Cravats were first worn by the Croats in the sixteenth century as a part of their military dress. Public speakers, Members of Congress, and clergymen hang themselves by wearing cravats and stocks, high and tight, thereby impeding the return of blood from the head; this cn be explained on physiological principles. The brain in speaking, is excited to increased action, a larger quantity of blood is sent to it, and unless it can find a ready return, produces congestion and apoplexy. Students are not altogether free from the effects of litigation of the neck. It is surprising how little pressure is necessary to prevent the ready flow of blood from the head. Those who bend their heads forward in writing or studying, are apt to feel a dizziness and heaviness in the head, which loosening their cravats or collars, altogether relieves, and the mind returns to its original clearness. In clergymen who are particularly prone to bundle their necks with large cravats, bronchitis is induced, and the vocal chords become relaxed as the consequence. Men who speak extemporaneously can speak longer and with greater ease than those who read, as their voice is not confined so much to one key, and can be modulated with greater freedom.
This article was originally published with the title "Cravats"