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Updated: 5th November 2017
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Nostrums and quackery. Articles on the nostrum evil and quackery reprinted, with additions and modifications, from the journal of the American Medical Association (2nd ed.). (1912). Chicago: American Medical Association Press.
Piesse, G. W. S. (1857). The art of perfumery, and the methods of obtaining the odors of plants, with instructions for the manufacture of perfumes for the handkerchief, scented powders, odorous vinegars, dentifrices, pomatums, cosmetiques, perfumed soap, etc. with an appendix on the colors of flowers, artificial fruit essences, etc. etc. Philadelphia: Lindsay and Blakiston.
Thornwell, E. (1859). The lady’s guide to perfect gentility in manners, dress, and conversation, in the family, in company, at the piano forte, the table, in the street, and in gentlemen’s society. Also a useful instructor in letter writing, toilet preparations, fancy needlework, millinery, dressmaking, care of the wardrobe, the hair, teeth, hands, lips, complexion, etc. New York: Derby & Jackson.
Thorpe, S. C. (1953). Practice and science of standard barbering. New York: Milady Publishing Corp.
The toilette of health, beauty, and fashion: Embracing the economy of the beard, breath, complexion, ears, eyes, eyebrows, eye-lashes, feet, forehead, gums, hair, head, hands, lips, mouth, mustachios, nails of the toes, nails of the fingers, nose, skin, teeth, tongue, &c. &c. Including the comforts of dress and the decorations of the neck; also the treatment of the discolorations of the skin, corns-eruptions-spots-pimples scorbutic or spongy gums, tainted breath-tooth-ache-carious or decayed teeth-warts-whitlows prevention of baldness, grey hair, etc. With directions for the use of most safe and salutary cosmetics-perfumes-essences-simple waters-depilatories, and other preparations to remove superfluous hair, tan, excrescences, etc. And a variety of select recipes for the dressing room or both sexes. (1834). Boston: Allen and Ticknor.
Wiley, H. W. (1916). 1001 tests of foods, beverages and toilet accessories, good and otherwise: Why they are so. New York: Hearst International.
Images and database information for over 7,000 advertisements printed in U.S. and Canadian newspapers and magazines between 1911 and 1955.
American Art Archives
Art work from artists that produced cosmetic advertising.
Access to a million pages of AM, FM & TV broadcasting history.
The British Newspaper Archive
Two hundred years of British newspapers.
Published from 1926 to 1935 in Chicago, was explicitly modeled on the New Yorker in both its graphic design and editorial content.
Collecting Vintage Compacts
Dedicated to the inquisitive vintage compact collector who wants to know how, when and why compacts and vanity cases came into being.
Source of safety information about cosmetic ingredients for products sold in the USA.
Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
Search America’s historic newspapers pages from 1836-1922 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present.
A site dedicated to the Tesla coil with information on Static Electric Machines, Galvanic Batteries, Faradic Batteries, Oudin Resonators, Tesla Coils, Violet Rays, Diathermy Machines, Carbon Arc Lamps, Ultraviolet Ozone Apparatus and Quack Medical Devices.
The digital library of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France and its partners. A huge digital library of French books and magazines including some copies of French Vogue and other fashion magazines.
HathiTrust is a partnership of major research institutions and libraries working to ensure that the cultural record is preserved and accessible long into the future. There are more than sixty partners in HathiTrust, and membership is open to institutions worldwide.
Britain’s History in Old Photos and Vintage Adverts.
The Internet Archive, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, is building a digital library of Internet sites and other cultural artifacts in digital form. Like a paper library, it provides free access to researchers, historians, scholars, and the general public.
Library and Archives Canada
The collection contains materials in all types of formats from across Canada and around the world that are of interest to Canadians.
Vintage magazine cover and advertising art from the Golden Age of American Illustration.
Reproductions of articles from Modern Mechanics, Popular Science, Mechanix Illustrated and other magazines.
Museum of the city of New York
Explore New York’s past through nearly 185,000 images and objects from the collections.
The National Museum of American History
The collection of cosmetics and personal care products currently includes over 2,200 objects dating largely from the mid-nineteenth century to the present.
New-York Historical Society
Digital collections freely available over the Internet.
Articles from assorted magazines.
The Quack Doctor
A collection of panacean powders, pills, potions, procedures and pamphlets, as advertised in historical newspapers.
A safety guide to cosmetics and personal care products produced by the Environmental Working Group.
Australian and online resources of books, images, historic newspapers, maps, music, archives and more.
Vintage Ad Browser: Health and Hygiene
Beauty and Hygiene advertisements.
Wikipedia has some limited background information on cosmetics as well as more detailed material on some cosmetic firms.