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In the 20th century, the convicts’ jacket is a red madder gown without any buttons nor collars. Tolerance sometimes for a little right collar and for bone buttons.
The hairdressing (beanies) show atonement time. Lifelong convicts à perpétuité wear a green beanie; before 1830, they were equally marked, with a red-iron, on shoulders, with “TP” letters, French acronym for “Perpetuity Works”.
The red beanie is the general mark for convicts at time but, for some, this is only a transition color. From red beanie to green one, whose frequently they dispose only when they will be executed. Sometimes, a shift of commissioner at the head of jail bring a new clothing variety.
"The Last Exodus, story of jails and slaves".
Slaves arrived chained by the neck, in group of 24, cordson some “haquets”.
When they arrive, they were fleeced, only wearing a red wool helmet, a red wool waistcost, a white canvas shirt, a yellow canvas pant and a pair of shod shoes whitout bottom.
They also were wearing a woolen beanie, whose its color indicated the lenght of their sentence: the red beani for the at time convicts and the green one for the lifelong convicts.
A white iron plate, weared on the helmet, the waistcoast and the beanie, indicated the serial number of the convict. Those who were working outside received equally a grey-woolen jacket.
The plate fixed on the beanie, only metallic pieces on this outfit, is normally in white iron. Sometimes, some convicts replaced it by a trowel plate in hardened steel which prove to be a very efficient saw.
On his arrival, the slave receive what will become his most faithfull partner: THE CHAIN. The boatman in charge of the fixed fitting to the convicts’ ankle a closed shackle by a grind to which we grab a chain, generally long by a meter and fifty centimeters, formed by 18 links and heavy by seven kilos.
The couples formation is one of painful action in jail. Each new slave is necessary "coupled" with an old for a three years lenght.
This coupling is heinous: no reasons of salutary penalty explains it. It make a unfortunate that regret would attempt in isolation, in the most immediate contact of a perverse man and blasé on all the punishments.
He have to eat, to work, to lay down by its side; to be its accomplice, to listen to its most obscene, its most ungodly profanities. He have to corrupt himself as far as him to live in harmony. If he persists to resist to this evil influence, he often becomes the victim of the miserable to which he is coupled.
The commander Jacques-Yves COUSTEAU wore constantly this Red Beanie as a recognition sign and in tribute to the Toulon’s Slaves who were designated to test the first snorkels.
In fact, because of fears about the risks, diving suits were in a first time tried by some convicts. In order to differ them to others men on habours and boats, we have them wear red beanies.
Thus, COUSTEAU, who owe musch to that guinea pigs, made them a tribute.