So was my great grandfather in the KKK or is there a non-racist explanation for the white hoods? c. early 1900s?

  1. Late 1850-80's winnowing hood - typically worn by people who where threshing and winnowing grain, sometimes worn while bailing grains, grasses, and other stalk heavy material. They keep the fine grains, dust, and other itchy scratchy material from going into their clothing. That looks like a reaper behind them to the right.

  2. Of course there’s somebody here on Reddit with the most random niche knowledge of mid 19th century working hoods. Never fails.

  3. I’m wondering if that’s why the grim reaper wears a hood like that. A precursory google search didn’t have an answer…

  4. And the reaper would explain the guy holding the oil can. Early forms of machinery were in constant need of oiling. No sealed bearings and much of the bearing surfaces were poured babbitt.

  5. They look like grain sacks worn as hoods to keep the sun off of their heads, necks and shoulders. If it was KKK they would all be wearing full regalia because why would they not?

  6. Actually they rarely did and often wore nothing unusual at all, except for in pictures where they needed to remain anonymous because even 100 years ago they knew they were the scumdogs of American ignorance.

  7. “I want rustlers, cut throats, murderers, bounty hunters, desperados, mugs, pugs, thugs, nitwits, halfwits, dimwits, vipers, snipers, con men, Indian agents, Mexican bandits, muggers, buggerers, bushwhackers, hornswogglers, horse thieves, bull dykes, train robbers, bank robbers, ass-kickers, shit-kickers and Methodists.”

  8. The KKK ceased to be as an organization around 1872 and didn't spring back into existence until the movie Birth of a Nation hit theaters in 1915. If that photo is from the early 1900s, it's not a Klan event.

  9. KKK in old pics I've seen are always wearing white hoods & robes, & they attended their meetings AFTER work! Also, KKK hoods often have slightly individual styles- these appear to have all been gotten from a single source. 2nd row far R is holding an oil can, which would indicate that he has to tend some kind of machine; in the background there is a suggestion of some machinery. These guys appear to be 'on the job'. Most are dressed in work clothes suitable for warmth. I'm inclined to believe they're a work crew of some sort, perhaps threshing grain. I have no idea about the hoods, unless to keep off the dust & chaff generated by the process...

  10. I was stopped by 5 Klansmen in one of the most remote counties in GA. My brother was the town doctor and I was going to babysit his two sons. . This was during the early 1980’s. I was petrified despite having my German Shepherd and a small pistol. They left me alone and apologized once my dog started growling and I put my hand on my pistol. I am white. Their robes were white with the pointy hoods like a dunce cap. The five men were hiding under the bridge and stopping people. It made me feel ashamed of being white. The sheriff did nothing to the men. Maybe he was one of them.

  11. Also, this group is more diverse than your average klanclave; a couple of the people in the back row and front appear to be Native American.

  12. It’s worth noting that the KKK robes/hoods are modeled after the monastic orders of Europe. Many monasteries used robes and hoods of similar design, but they were most often brown in color.

  13. Looks like harvest time. Men would wear sacks over their heads/shoulders to stop hay bales they would carry scratching their skin (?)

  14. The 2nd Klan didn't really get going until the 1920s, so before that, unlikely but not impossible. Also, pointy hoods aren't owned by Klan. For example, lots of Catholic orders wear them, like during Semana Santa. And in this picture, they look functional, like keeping shit from going down their shirt?

  15. These men look as if they are going to work in the fields. It doesn’t matter where they were; they needed to be protected from sun and dust. Their eyes needed to protected, too. The KKK would not allow pictures to be taken with their faces visible.

  16. Its a hood.. they are working on a field. Its warm, its sunny, its to avoid sunburns at your neck, ears and head in general.

  17. Pretty sure it’s the hand of the guy to their right (2nd from left). It’d be his left hand on the shoulder, and that’s definitely a left hand. Plus the person with the hand on their shoulder looks a bit wider, making their arm/shoulder block the attached arm of the hand. Then it runs into the hat/cover thing of the man in the second row.

  18. These guys are workers. Probably working around something hot to cover the back of their heads. Could iron workers or rail workers

  19. Well it looks like a work detail and one guy is holding an oil can. And I think the person in white in the back row is a woman. So don’t think it’s a klan group.

  20. There were a ton a pointy style hats throughout history. Generally they were easier and simpler to make than a round cap you might be thinking of

  21. Unrelated, but I was looking at my great grandpa’s college yearbook (so 1920-ish), and one of the social clubs shown was the KKK. Pretty wild and horribly sad. No, he was not in it.

  22. KKK hoods hide the faces of the shit-face cowards that wear them. These are innocent, peaceful hoods simply meant to keep the sun off the heads and necks of the field workers as well as to keep the bits of crap that flies up from what they harvest from going down their shirts and bugging the hell out of them. These are honest, hard-working hoods just making a decent living.

  23. Someone has already explained these hoods, so let me just add that (aside from the fact that these don't look at all like Klan hoods) the hood thing was popular among many secret societies back in the day, most of them not racist or nefarious. The KKK ruined that and now most don't use them. Kind of like Hitler ruined the little mustache.

  24. Obviously there are non racist explanations as to why laborers during that era would be wearing protective hoods. The title of this post seems intentionally inflammatory.

  25. He was part of a village council,that kept the crime rate to 0 for decades, winning all "Great village" competitions.

  26. These look like grain bags folded over into makeshift hats. This may be intended as a funny picture. People didn’t smile for pictures back then, which makes for a different tone.

  27. This looks nothing like a KKK outfit… It is amazing how ignorant people can be and immediately assume a pointed hood must mean KKK 🥴

  28. Does it look like a torch in the far right gentleman’s hand? Any chance they could be old-time wilderness firefighters/ hired hands for doing controlled burns and those hoods were for heat protection? Those look like really heavy material to be wearing during harvest

  29. I'm sure Great-Grandpa is looking down from above and is proud of his great grandson that was so quick to throw him under today's trendy bus

  30. What an interesting photo. What was your great grandfather’s occupation? I notice one man is wearing a three-piece suit. Another could be a woman. One holds an oil can — for farm machinery? There is some ethnic diversity in the group, so probably not all family. All are relatively warmly dressed, so it isn’t likely the head coverings are sun protection. More likely protection from rain and cold. They’re vaguely reminiscent of medieval hood Hard to tell what they’re made of, but they would be easy to construct. Please tell us all you know about your ancestor! Definitely not KKK, though.

  31. Vaguely remember seeing this sort of thing, wheat was loaded into bags, and these guys would carry them on to a truck or similar. I guess the hood stopped all the wheat going down their back.

  32. Not that I have looked into the KKK much, but the ones I have seen from historic photos look a good bit different. I would say more to the winnowing hood like mentioned otherwise, those have a wider girth and less height for peak. The hoods the clan wore, if/when they wore hoods back then, were more narrow and had a higher peak.

  33. Truth be told, your great grandma got a new sewing machine (foot powered) and she could only sew in 90 degrees sections. Grandpa wanted to show off her skills with the fellas he worked with. Later that evening your father was conceived

  34. Funny I don’t see white, I see brown hoods or gray maybe. Definitely not white. And I’m pretty sure the KKK hid their faces that was kind of the point of their hoods

  35. Ok so it’s clearly not KKK but your title suggests you thought it was KKK and so you posted it in old school cool?

  36. lol. You've been on the internet way too much (most likely reddit) if your first thought when seeing this picture is Ku Klux Klan.

  37. Omg. An american seeing every bright hood as an KKK reference is one of the most narcissistic and egocentric things ever.

  38. I’m not a photo expert but this looks like an 1880-1890s, a still photo. Anything moving doesn’t show up or looks like a blur. Anything still shows up.

  39. If they were in the KKK, that seems like the most half-assed unit that there ever was. They’re all wearing different clothes under the hood instead of the white robes. And none of them looks like they give a shit about being there (no enthusiasm).

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