Beauty Recipes And Homecare Recipes

L0031645 Edwards’ “Harlene” for the hair Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images images@wellcome.ac.uk http://wellcomeimages.org Edwards’ “Harlene” for the hair: the great hair dressing. Print. London: Edwards’ “Harlene” Co., [1890’s]. 1890s? Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Back to Great-Granny’s recipe book for more home recipes. Some of the ingredients had us scratching our heads in bemusement, but we’ll share the recipes here anyway. You’ll never know when you need to mention one of these in a story sometime!

Measurements are usually given in drams or drachms (same thing, different spelling), which is shown as ‘dr’ and a number. The Britannica encyclopaedia defines as this “An apothecaries’ dram contains 3 scruples (3.888 grams) of 20 grains each and is equal to one-eighth apothecaries’ ounce of 480 grains.”

Other measures used are ordinary ounce (oz) and pound (lb). Liquid measures used are pints and gills (a gill is ¼ of a pint).

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Beauty Products

We’re used to buying whatever beauty products we want, when we want. For most Victorian women, these were too expensive or difficult to come by. So, being inventive and clever, they created their own:

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Cold Cream

1 oz pure wase (?)
2 oz spermaceti
1 pint almond oil.

Melt together and mix well. Beat in 12 drops attar of rose and 3 oz honey. Put in jars and cover securely. It will last a long time.

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For Chapped Hands/Dirty And Rough Hands

Chapped Hands Recipe One
1 dr carbolic acid
1 oz glycerin

Mix with water and apply to hands.

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Chapped Hands Recipe Two
Take an equal quantity of glycerin and methylated spirits and mix thoroughly together to rub on hands after washing.

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For Dirty, Rough Hands
Use Bicrolium Jelly, which removes all dirt and makes them soft and white.

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Hair Products

Hair Tonic
1 oz Lavena de Composee (?)
¼ dr menthol crystals
3 oz Bay Rum

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Falling Hair
Get some Boranium from chemist (pharmacist) and mix with Bay Rum

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For Grey Hair

To keep hair from turning grey, obtain some Tammalite (?), dissolve it in Bay Rum and apply this lotion every day.

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Shampoo
1 teaspoon Stallax dissolved in hot water

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Home Care Products

Most housewives found it easier and cheaper to create her own polishes and cleaners, rather than buy ready-made ones. Here are a couple of recipes:

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Cheap boot polish

1 dr hulball (?)
1 dr turpentine
1 dr neat’s foot oil

Melt hulball and mix with oils, and put in a tin. This makes boots waterproof.

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A good floor polish

1 dr bees wax and scrape it into a jar. Pour over it enough paraffin to cover it and put on stove to melt. When cold it is ready for use. Is a good furniture polish, too.

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