Fans have been around for many centuries. But it is in the 18th to 19th century that they were most popular. Not just used to cool down on a hot day or in a crowded room, the women of this time developed a “language” through the gestures and speed that accompanied fanning oneself. While most of the gestures vary in meaning, these fan “codes” were used mainly to communicate with possible suitors without having others find out. It was a silent language of love that today can be identified with flirting. Young and even older women used this system to secretly send messages to the person of interest (or those they wished to leave them alone). Moving the fan slowly, quickly, half-opened, closed, or against the chest or cheeks had a significant implication. Some typical messages sent were ones such as “I am single”, “I am engaged”, “Be careful” (someone is watching perhaps), “I am upset”, “I don’t wish to speak to you”, “Follow me”. There are no historical records that outline exact movements or meanings. For that reason, I think that the body language and speed of the woman and her fan played a part in the communication so that any gentleman with common sense could easily decipher her intentions.