Woman's Own Book of Toilet Secrets (date unknown)

Digital Changeling > Sewing > Period Resources > Woman's Own Book of Toilet Secrets (date unknown)

Note: I'm glad that so many people are enjoying my resources, but unfortunately all this downloading is putting a huge strain on my bandwidth allotment. I've rearranged the pages so that you can now get the individual large and small scans, side by side. I've removed the zip files for now, but if you would like them please just email me and ask and I'll make them available to you. Thanks so much for all the interest!

I purchased this booklet on eBay. It is foxed to all hell, but despite some tears, all the pages are present and legible. The seller did not have an estimate of the printing date, and I've been unable to find any copyright date in it. My original guess was that it was produced between 1900 and 1908 or so. After looking at the portraits more carefully, I'm not so sure. I think it's possible it was produced in the 1890's as well. I'm actively seeking other opinions on this dating.

Dating Update: A lovely lady from the paper arts community has pointed out that Belva A. Lockwood had run for President twice by 1888 (as mentioned on page 15) and died in 1917, so the booklet must have been published between these years. (Thanks so much for your help Martha!)

There are a number of amusing sections in this pamphlet, including advice on how to take care of/create one's beauty, recipes for cosmetics and toiletries, as well as a number of thinly veiled testimonials for "Dr. Greene's Nervura" (a "blood and nerve remedy"). I was especially amused by the cosmetic recipes. My favorite is the Strawberry Complexion Cream at the top of page six. I'm pretty sure my druggist does not carry spermaceti though, so I won't be making it any time soon!

Many of the pictures are of actresses, singers, sculptresses, and artists. I presume they are all noted beauties. A number of the pictures show hairstyles and clothes from well before the period I think the booklet is from, so (assuming I got the dating about right) the booklet's creator didn't mind showing slightly older standards of beauty.

I've done my best to color correct the pages so that they will be more legible. Like I mentioned earlier, they are all showing pretty much total foxing. The outside covers are even worse than the rest of the pages, so overall the book is more of a weathered brown/tan/orange-ish color.

Some people have expressed an interest in page thumbnails, so I've added those in. Currently the thumbnails link to the small version of each page.

Download the individual pages (100 dpi and 300 dpi respectively):