Professor Modevi’s Beard Generator

While some historical quacks and their remedies remain famous, I often find adverts for products that have faded into obscurity. Some were one-hit wonders that only appeared in the papers for a few weeks, while others were well known in their time but don’t have much extant background information associated …

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Capsuloids Hair Restorer

Source: Black & White, 19 March 1904 Chief among the ills to which flesh is heir in the springtime is the provoking habit of our ‘crowning glory’ to come off in handfuls, leaving us with the parlous prospect of a denuded poll. So says a 1904 advertorial recommending Capsuloids as …

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The Bloom of Ninon

DELICACY of Complexion.—The incomparable BLOOM of NINON DE L’ENCLOS, superior to any thing yet discovered for rendering the skin soft, smooth, and beautiful in the extreme. Its wonderful effects in removing freckles, morphews, worms, &c. justly entitle it to that preference so long bestowed on it by the most elegant …

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The Nose Machine

NOSE MACHINE.—This is a simple successful contrivance which, applied to the nose for an hour daily, so directs the soft cartilage of which the member consists, that an ill-formed nose is quickly shaped to perfection. Any one can use them, and without pain. Price 10s. 6d., sent carriage free.—ALEX. ROSS, …

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Empress Josephine Face Bleach

In a testimonial included in another Empress Josephine Toilet Co. advert, “Mrs Jos. C. Morton” wrote: Some years ago I ruined my skin and complexion by the use of worthless face powders. Pimples would raise up in large lumps all over my face. They oft times resembled more closely a …

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Dr MacKenzie’s Improved Harmless Arsenic Complexion Wafers

‘Dr MacKenzie’ was one of several brand names attached to arsenic products – similar ‘wafers’ (pills) were sold under the names Dr Simms, Dr Rose and Dr Campbell. The wafers made the skin fashionably pale by destroying red blood cells. Although it was possible to build up a tolerance for arsenic by …

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Alex Ross's Complexion Globules

This double advert shows only a fraction of the cosmetics range sold by Alexander Ross. He sold several products for the hair, including his famous Cantharides (Spanish Fly) Oil for curing baldness, and Golden Hair wash that turned the hair “a golden colour after a few usings.” Other products included …

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Tricosian Powder, Huile de Cachmere, etc.

As someone with a “countenance of moderate pretensions,” I can see the allure of some of these products …                                         TRICOSIAN POWDER.    For rendering Red or Grey Hair and Whiskers a beautiful                                    Black or Brown. THIS POWDER, which is a very curious dis- covery in Chemistry, will …

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Cosmeticon

This is another of the ads from Defoe’s A Review of the Affairs of France, which I have mentioned previously. COSMETICON:    A    most     excellent     wash to Beautifie the  Face,  &c.,  rendring  the  Skin sur- prisingly white and  clear:  It  takes  away  all  Hard- ness,  Tan,  Sunburn,  or  other  Discolourings:   All Morphews,  Scurfs,  …

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Crinilene

                   Image: Whiskerandos, by John Leech, 1854. Courtesy of the John Leech Sketch Archives from Punch               LUXURIANT HAIR, WHISKERS, EYEBROWS, &c.      THE   TESTIMONIALS   daily   received   by   Miss   DEAN establish  the  fact   that   CRINILENE  is  the  only  preparation  that can be perfectly relied upon in  producing  those  acknowledged  orna- …

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