Category Archives: women

Mennen’s Borated Talcum Powder

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Here is an advertisement extolling the virtues of Mennen’s Toilet Powder – use it after bathing because “The Month of Roses (apparently an antiquated reference to February) calls for special complexion safeguards to ensure a summer of perfect skin condition and comfort. The daily habit of using Mennen’s Borated Talcum Powder after bathing keeps the skin smooth and healthy, prevents Prickly Heat, Chafing, Sunburn insuring the much coveted browning without burning. After shaving it is delightful, in the nursery indispensable.”

The ad gives insight into what women considered attractive in that era; the  expansive claims were not unusual for advertisements of the period. But note that the company proudly states that the product is guaranteed under The Food and Drugs Act of 1906 and is sold in non-refillable bottles presumably to prevent unscrupulous vendors from recylcing used containers and filling them with cheap imitations.

Some things never change.

The Martha Washington Hotel for Women – Fully Fireproof

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This is a 1915 advertisement for the Hotel Martha Washington, which was billed as an “Exceptional Place for Women Traveling Alone” and “Absolutely Fireproof.”  Although the hotel catered to women traveling alone, it also featured a restaurant that served both “Ladies and Gentlemen” in case the women wanted to get lucky, I guess.

Rooms were only a dollar a day which included a bath. It even had a telephone (call 6500 Madison).

Ads like this are a small reminder of just how much the world has changed – the idea that women would need to be segregated into a hotel just for women – the boasting that the hotel was fireproof (because most hotels of the time were actually death traps) and the prices, all hint at a world that most of us living today have never experienced.

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