Monday, January 21, 2013

Object of the Day: Ladies Perfumed Calendar, 1894

Click image to enlarge.

Nothing says, “Smellin’ Good” like a bird sitting on your shoulder. At least that’s what this young lady seems to think. She’s not the slighted bit concerned. I would be. I like birds. I feed birds. I even allow birds to make their homes in various odd places along the exterior of my house. However, I have to draw the line somewhere, and that moment comes when they want to sit on me. Nothing good can come of that. Still, this lass is not bothered, and I suppose I shouldn’t be either.

The young lady comes from the wonderful fictional Nineteenth Century world of cherubic advertising tots. She’s rosy-cheeked and scrofula free, and, she’s smart enough to have developed a skill—in this case, bird wrangling and flower picking. And, there’s the key. The flowers.

This is another Ladies Perfumed Calendar from our friendly Victorian chums at the Hoyt’s Perfume Company of Lowell, Mass. The folks at Hoyt’s sprayed their wares on all manner of trade cards and calendars which they had commissioned. This was actually a very good idea as it allowed a lady to keep the item in her reticule—thus making it smell better than the street—and, in the case of a calendar such as this one, it was a handy thing which reminded her of Hoyt’s every day. Plus, it had a pretty picture! Everyone wins!

This particular example, one of many in my collection of ephemera, comes to us from 1894. The calendar for the year IS printed on the back, but we can’t see it. All we can see is the back of the scrap book page to which this had been glued, likely in 1895 when the calendar was no longer useful.

As was usually the case, the clever people at Hoyt’s German Cologne also used this opportunity to hawk their dentifrice—Rubifoam For the Teeth. That just doesn’t sound too good to me. But, what do I know?

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