Monday, September 2, 1912

by Elizabeth

Of course today is Labor Day, and again there is no newspaper! I went back to Every Woman’s Encyclopaedia and found that the section after needlework begins with the sentiment that “the brightest touch is given to home when a wife preserves her own good looks.” It goes on to describe how one may do this for the eyes (bathe them each morning in very cold water for three to five minutes, be certain your lamp has a heliotrope-colored shade when sewing by artificial light, and close the eyes “when engaged in any hard thinking”), the hands (confusingly contradictory advice involving both fresh air and the wearing of gloves, plus the application of glycerin and powder after washing), the hair (including the frightening warning to let down one’s hair twice a day in order to release poisonous hot air!), the complexion (do housework where there is fresh air, and if forced to cook, drink a glass of water before standing before a stove), and the teeth (cooking is evidently terrible for them too, but brushing once a day with salt water and twice with tincture of myrrh is good). Whew! It sounds like a lot of work to preserve one’s looks, especially if there is any cooking involved.