Saturday, November 14, 2009

November 13, 1909: Hair Restorer

100 Years Ago: From The Rensselaer Eagle [NY 41 Rensselaer 93-32173].
Silver Threads among the Gold

Women and men get old very young nowdays. It seems as if there is something in the strenuous life we are all living that deprives the hair of its coloring matter and gives the hue of age to the brow of youth.

Use Nature's Hair Restorer and get back your youthful looks. All Ladies and Gentlemen use it. Don't be discouraged because you are real gray it will bring your hair back to its natural shade.

Travelling salesmen, men and women that are employed in stores must use it. Gray haired people are not wanted these days.

Nature's Hair Restorer is not a dye, just a harmless natural restorer. Call or Address.

Mrs. Kathleen Mowers
1551 Broadway Rensselaer N. Y.

This ad ran regularly in the 1909 Rensselaer Eagle. "Silver Threads Among The Gold" was a popular song about loving someone even though they're growing old and gray. Several intolerable recordings by sopranos are available online, but the best version I found was Harry Ellis's 1911 recording.

The "hue of age to the brow of youth" line also sounds like a quote. I doubt this was her reference, but "hue of age" was in John Trumbull's truly catty 1771 poem "Advice to Ladies of a Certain Age". Enjoy that one...

There was more than one "Nature's Hair Restorer" around back then, but it could have been "Henna D'Oreal" (1920 ad from Meyer Druggist). This concoction of henna and herbs was described in the Twenty Sixth Report of the New Hampshire Board of Health (1920) : "Contains copper as an essential ingredient, and therefore falls within the class of objectionable metallic hair dyes, although not so reprehensible as the lead preparations."

If you click on the B. Paul ad, you'll see it says to "Beware of inferior substitutes", which is ironic, as this product was a knock-off of L'Oreal Henne (see Federal Trade Commission v. Balme, 23 F.2d 615, 2nd Cir. 1928).
Federal Trade Commission v. Paul Balme, trading under the name and style of B. Paul. Charge : Using unfair methods of competition in the manufacture and sale of a hair dye, designated as “Henna D’Oreal,” which simulates the trade name and wrapping of a hair dye sold by F. L. Leben (Inc.), long and favorably known as “L’Oreal Henne,” and by falsely advertising his product as a new French coloring providing the only harmless coloring in the world, with the effect of misleading and deceiving the purchasing public... (Annual Report of the Federal Trade Commission - 1921)

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