Posted by ESC on July 29, 2006
An earlier origin of "cool."
Previous information in the archives at http://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board/26/messages/318.html
"Believe it or not, one of the more famous modern uses of 'cool' was in Charles Dickens' 1837 comic masterpiece, The Pickwick Papers. In one scene, a coach driver (using the tricky 'four-in-hand' method of holding all the reins) uses his free hand to wipe his brow with his handerchief to show everyone how 'cool' he is.Of course, it wasn't until the 1940s and 1950s that the expression really caught on." From "Peachy Keen: The Feel-Good Origins of Swell Phrases," mental_floss (feel smart again), July-August 2006. Page 14.