It’s Flashback Friday, where we take a look at an item, trend, or event from history.

In the course of some recent research, I was looking through my copy of the 1897 Sears Roebuck catalogue when the following page caught my eye:

I know the left edge is hard to see (I couldn’t hold it flat enough over the scanner), so here is some of the pitch for the “Princess Bust Developer”:  “If Nature has not favored you with that greatest charm, bosom, full and perfect, send for the Princess Bust Developer, and you will be pleased over the result of a few weeks’ use.”

And don’t forget the bust cream (or food?!) – looks like a peanut butter jar, doesn’t it?  I wonder how many ladies ingested the cream instead of slathering it on themselves.

Also, for those ladies “inclined to baldness,” we have the Princess Tonic Hair Restorer (below).   Wow, it does everything: gets rid of gray, restores shine and body, grows new hair, and removes dandruff and “scurf” (a term that’s new to me, but it sounds awful, doesn’t it?).

Ah, yes, we’re all laughing….

However, tonics, gadgets, pills, and creams to cure various cosmetic problems aren’t unique to the 19th century.  Remember these more recent inventions?

The Thigh Master


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The Neckline Slimmer:

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And how about – Spray-On Hair:


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What do you think of “enhancement” products?  Do you have any guilty secrets collecting dust in your closet or medicine cabinet?  I’d love to hear from you!

Until next time,


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