A peek inside a sponge bag from 1915

"Colgate ad 1915" by Colgate & Co. - The American Magazine, January 1915, page 87. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons
“Colgate ad 1915” by Colgate & Co. – The American Magazine, January 1915, page 87.
"Pond's vanishing cream print advertisement" by Pond's extract company - Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library, Duke University. http://scriptorium.lib.duke.edu/eaa/ponds/P00/P0041-72dpi.jpeg. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons
“Pond’s vanishing cream print advertisement” by Pond’s extract company – Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library, Duke University.

As I’m last-minute packing for a holiday to Croatia, it got me thinking about what “toilette” items would a girl like me be packing for her holidays 100 years ago. The Saturday Evening Post ads are a great source of inspiration, and it’s surprising how many household names have been firmly established for longer than you could imagine.

Colgate “Ribbon dental cream”

Listerine: A very handy antiseptic, it was first sold as mouthwash in America in 1914.

"Folding Pocket Kodak Camera ad 1900" by Eastman Kodak Co., Rochester, NY - "Outing" (magazine) Vol. XXXVI, No. 5, August, 1900. p. xxix.
“Folding Pocket Kodak Camera ad 1900” by Eastman Kodak Co., Rochester, NY – “Outing” (magazine) Vol. XXXVI, No. 5, August, 1900. p. xxix.

Ponds: not only their cold cream which you can buy today (though I imagine it a very different formula), but their famous “vanishing cream”, which sounds like something you might find in Harry Potter but was so called, I imagine, because it absorbed better than the grease-based cold cream. You can find lots of nice lovely antique Pond’s cold cream jars on Etsy if you look for that sort of thing… not that I do…

And of course, a Kodak camera. I’ll be bringing my iPhone and instead of writing on the film, I’ll be hashtaging and instagramming. You can follow me here if you’re interested.

Now I better go make sure my pint-sized ziplock bag is ready for Easyjet inspections!

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