Edwardian (or Victorian?) face powder packet

Discussion in 'Ephemera and Photographs' started by Pat P, Sep 22, 2015.

  1. Pat P

    Pat P Well-Known Member

    I was scanning some Victorian trade cards yesterday, and found this wonderful little packet in with the cards that "tickled my fancy."

    It's for Freeman's Face Powder, and is sealed with the powder still inside.

    Because it still contains the powder, I guess it wouldn't really be called ephemera, but this seemed like the best forum for it.

    The two actresses whose photos appear on the back are Leslie Carter and Modjeska. There isn't a name associated with the woman on the front, so I assume it's a generic image.

    The printing process is an early version of photo offset printing (offset lithography), which should place it around the late 1800s or early 1900s. After a quick Google search, that seems like the right time period for the product and actresses, too. I'm leaning towards early 1900s rather than earlier, but am not sure.

    Any thoughts on which decade it might be from? Any other thoughts on this?

    freemans01.jpg freemans02.jpg freemans03.jpg freemans04.jpg freemans05.jpg
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  2. yourturntoloveit

    yourturntoloveit Well-Known Member

    Love, love, love the "selling points."

    "Harmless as dew"
    "Produced in White, Pink , Brunette, and Flesh. The latter is the artistic shade . . . ." :D
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  3. Pat P

    Pat P Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure I want to see anyone using the white powder... although it might be perfect for Halloween! :smuggrin:
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  4. moreotherstuff

    moreotherstuff Izorizent

    I'd guess 1900-20 based on references to Lily Langtry and Fay Templeton.

    I think if you look up those other names, they will tend to support that period.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2015
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  5. komokwa

    komokwa The Truth is out there...!

    Hey, if Modjeska likes it....I'll give it a try !!
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  6. Pat P

    Pat P Well-Known Member

    Moreother, good suggestion... thanks!

    Komo, but of course! :)
  7. Pat P

    Pat P Well-Known Member

    I'm wondering now if all the women mentioned were either actresses or famous people of the day. I'll have to do a little detective work...
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  8. komokwa

    komokwa The Truth is out there...!

    You would think so.......I mean......aren't they still today ?
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  9. afantiques

    afantiques Well-Known Member

    It dates from the early Zombie period,that's why it says "This is a sample of Flesh".
  10. daveydempsey

    daveydempsey Moderator Moderator

  11. Ladybranch

    Ladybranch Well-Known Member

    Here's a 1914 ad for Freeman's Face Powder in "Flesh, White, Pink and Brunette" on Amazon.com. The ad says "...women like Mrs. Sydney Drew, Mrs. Leslie Carter, Mary Robinson and scores of other famous actresses..." Modjeska isn't included in the list anymore. The ad doesn't have 1914 on it anywhere, so not really sure how they dated it other than the statement:

    "This is an original 1914 black and white print ad for the Freeman's Veloutine Face Powder from Freeman Perfume Company located in Cincinnati, Ohio."

    Here is a Freeman's Powder card with Lillian Russell that the Boston Public Library dates 1870-1900.

    Leslie Carter was an interesting person. I didn't know anything about her until now. Seems Mrs. Leslie Carter 1st starring role was in 1895 with the height of her career on Broadway from that time to c1910. She later did Vaudeville and was a Silent Screen actress from around 1915 to the 1920s. She used her married name, Mrs. Leslie Carter, as her stage name "to spite her former husband." According to Wiki... she was called "The American Sarah Bernhardt" and "...became her generation's greatest dramatic actress."

    > I'm leaning towards early 1900s rather than earlier, but am not sure.<

    With your packet not mentioning Lillian Russell (her career was about over by 1900) and with Modjeska (her American career) and Carter's careers overlapped from 1895 to 1906, I agree with your timeframe.

    --- Susan
  12. Pat P

    Pat P Well-Known Member

    Thanks, everyone! :)

    Susan, looks like you nailed it!

    Would this be the closest category on eBay?
    Collectibles > Vanity, Perfume & Shaving > Other Vanity Collectibles
  13. Figtree3

    Figtree3 What would you do if you weren't afraid?

    Helena Modjeska died in 1909. I was going to say first decade of the 20th century, and that confirmed it. Also, Maxine Elliott was married to Nat Goodwin starting in 1898. The hairstyles on the women in the photos look to me to be from the very early 20th century.

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  14. Figtree3

    Figtree3 What would you do if you weren't afraid?

    I've read a bit about Mrs. Leslie Carter -- "interesting person" is putting it mildly!
    Pat P likes this.
  15. Pat P

    Pat P Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Fig!

    It amazes me sometimes how little we know about the past and people who were once prominent.
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