‘A new sensation’ – hair-brushing by machinery

The New and Delightful Method - Punch vol 45 p175

Among the gems released into the public domain by the British Library last December is an advertisement for Batkin & Kent, Hairdressers and Perfumers of Stafford, (or Staffford – whoever proofread it probably hoped it would disappear with the next edition of the book rather than re-emerge on the internet …

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The Vital Regenerator

Balsam of Mecca was a prized substance in Arabian medicine and cosmetics, but it was very difficult to get hold of the real thing in Europe in the 19th century. The true balsam – a resin from the shrub then known as Balsamodendron Opobalsamum (now more commonly Commiphora gileadensis) – was …

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