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Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Cure for Your Face

Reader, Are You Annoyed,

And oftentimes embarrassed by imperfections in your complexion? Have you been placed in positions where you envied those of your sex whose complexions were more presentable than your own? Have you felt chagrined because of facial defects, or at compliments bestowed upon companions, in your presence, to your utter neglect? is your face sallow, murky, blotched or freckled? Is their roughness, redness in spots, or undue paleness of the skin? Is your complexion tanned, through exposure, or chapped and abraded by the wind or change of weather? Are you annoyed with wrinkles or threatened with them? Is your face, or any part of it, afflicted with black-heads or flesh-worms, spots, or discolorations? Is your skin flabby, and sometimes greasy, and your complexion bad generally? Is your face coarse, or dry and parched, and does it present an unhealthy appearance? Do you feel nervous and irritable at times, especially in company, from the knowledge of a bad complexion or skin defects of one kind or another? Are you using powders, cosmetics, etc., which are gradually ruining your complexion, and which serve only to "make up" a false face for the time being? Why tolerate a bad complexion, or any imperfection of the skin, when a simple appliance like the Toilet Mask, or Face Glove, will in a short time secure to you a complexion almost as pure and faultless as an infant's?

If you looked in the book of masks, somewhere between bank robbers and trick-or-treaters, you would find Madame Rowley's Toilet Mask. This lovely little number was just the thing to wear at bedtime, just in time to make your spouse feel lucky to have married you. But if it would get rid of flesh worms, wasn't it worth it?

The mask was promoted as soft and flexible, no more uncomfortable than wearing a silken glove. Little was revealed about its medicinal components other than it was "composed entirely of the purest natural material brought from forests of Para[guay] and Guiana, which, when scientifically treated, and incoroporated with healing agents, is moulded to the form of the face." Take that, you flesh worms.

It also removed freckles and tan to make the skin alabaster white. In the early 1880s "refined" women wanted to look as little like the immigrant races as possible. Darker features, like a tan, were associated with the hired help who were tasked with such outdoor chores as putting out the laundry on clothes lines and beating rugs. Proper ladies didn't have to do such things, so pure, white skin was a must to be perceived as a woman perched high on the social ladder.

The product booklet shares several testimonials of satisfied masked women from all over the country, and a list of twenty "Prominent Artistes" is also listed, including Sara Bernhardt, Mary Anderson, and Anna Louisa Cary, but it was probably a carefully engineered mask of illusion because it never states that any of these women actually used or endorsed the mask. The mask makers had probably sent a mask to each of the listed stars of stage, just so they could list their names in their booklet to make it sound like the most popular starlets of the day owed their beauty and radiance to Madame Rowley's Toilet Mask:

Below we give the names of some PROMINENT ARTISTES Who have the Mask (and whose experience has made them familiar with the best means for beautifying purposes), which should be ample evidence of its marvelous virtues ...

The makers proudly pointed out that, while it was ideal to use during sleep, it was also perfectly fine to wear th mask at any time: around the house, reading a book, writing a letter, or whatever. I wonder how often these found their way onto the kiddies to score some candy at Halloween.


Sunday, February 7, 2010

... and Chocolate Cures Everything

Interesting reading from the Lynn (Massachusetts) Transcript, 21 January 1871:

"Dr. Hall relates the case of a man who was cured of biliousness by going without his supper and drinking feely of lemonade. Every morning, says the doctor, this patient rose with a wonderful sense of rest, refreshment, and a feeling as though the blood had been literally washed and cooled by the lemonade and the fast. His theory is that food can be used as a remedy for any diseases successfully. For example, he instances cures of spitting blood by the use of salt; epilepsy and yellow fever, watermellons; kidney affections, celery; poison, olive or sweet oil; erysipelas, pounded cranberries applied to the parts affected; hydrophobia, onions, &c."

If only.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

My Daughter is Healed & Home

Just a quick note to all my friends. My daughter has recovered and is now home. She was in the hospital for a week. The only lingering effect is a rash all over her body that is an allergic reaction to one of the medicines they gave her. She's very itchy, but glad to be home.

My mind is now clear and my heart unburdened, and I will be able to get going with this blog again. Thanks for your patience. I have some great, unusual stuff lined up to post over the next few days, so please stay tuned.

Thanks for all of your kind words and prayers on my daughter's behalf.

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