The towel was a very important part of Turkish social life and continues to be so. Originally, it had many uses such as, for the ceremonial bath of a bride before her wedding and for important occasions later in life. Of course, the hamam also has had an undeniable relationship with these towels, as had the royalty of the Ottoman Empire. The towel would still be a drab piece of cloth were it not for the the intercession of the Ottomans in the 17th century. Especially, thanks must go to the women in the palace that pushed their weavers to make more and more exquisite pieces. They brought style, design and flair to towels....Read the whole thing. My point isn't suddenly we must learn the history of the towel, it's that I reached a point this morning where I asked myself "What's the history of the towel?" and I expended 5 seconds of my life getting to an answer. Why? Because there's a towel on the floor — recently (not that recently) used to dry off a dog that rolled in the snow — and, instead of picking up the towel — as we did in the olden days — or thinking about picking up the towel — in the manner of more recent times — I'm free-associating about towels, in the jumble of my other random thoughts, which are set to perpetual tumble, powered by the continual availability of the spark of satisfaction that comes from Googling something and getting an answer.
There's a Wikipedia article "Towel," though sadly the history section needs more work:
The invention of the towel was associated, at least apocryphally, with the city of Bursa in Turkey. The city is still noted for the production of "Turkish towels."The cultural section is little better. It too has only has 3 items. Can you guess what they are?
In Middle Ages archeological studies, "... closely held personal items included the ever present knife and a towel."
In early 2011, hotels started using towels with washable embedded RFID tags.
1. Towelie from "South Park," misspelled as "Toweleyey," for some reason. (Maybe somebody was high on computer duster.).
2. "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," which apparently says that a towel is "about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have." (The internet confirms the existence of "Towel Day.")
3. The "Terrible Towel," that Pittsburgh Steelers thing.
Surely, there's more.
(I think of the David Sedaris book "Naked," in which towels figure prominently in 2 different essays (the family mystery about who's wiping himself with the family's dark brown towels and the one about the visit to the nudist camp where the importance of bringing your own towels is repeatedly stressed). )