Saturday, November 14, 2009

Health and Beauty: 1908 Style

It's not uncommon to come across books such as this. They make great 'coffee table' books, and they're definitely conversation starters.
When women find books with this style of topic here, they'll read passages aloud to their friends, everyone laughing and exclaiming how silly they are to us now. These old beauty primers usually appear very backward and out-of-date, and everyone talks about how we 'know better now'.

This book is hand-bound, and in very good shape. Note the length of the opening sentence (and sans punctuation) as well as the original book owner's name stamp, in red. I'd love a name stamp in that font, wouldn't you?



The table of contents is four pages long, and covers topics from 'Aids to Beauty' to 'The Torso'



The techniques and products seem dated to us, and yet on these pages, she talks in detail about how to wash your face - that hasn't changed much. I found Cora Brown Potter to be ahead of her time. She's actually very down to earth - most of what she has to say is about staying healthy, and what we try to practice today: exercise (she can't say enough about fresh air and sunshine; avidly promotes walking), getting enough sleep, and practicing a healthy state of mind.
And, yes, I was struck again with the connection to this old 1902 building I'm in. The book is another reminder about that era - when this building was young, what people were like, how they dressed, and more. I enjoy thinking about that.

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