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A calash was a popular style of hat in the early 19th century. Women in this time period valued pale complexions and wore hats such as calashes that shaded them well from the sun. A calash is composed of a framework of wire or basket reed covered with cloth and designed to collapse so that it does not take up much space or require a large hatbox for storage. The woman pictured in this Allen sisters photograph holds a string that helps bring the hat up around her face from being collapsed back on her shoulders. The term "calash" derives from the French carriage or "caleche," which had a top that folded down like a fan.