It is Labour Day here in Canada so I thought it would be appropriate to pair the Industrial Revolution of the past to a daily passion of today. Did you know that moose was used as fake hair? How did women always look so pale? These are trends that were popular during this time.
The Industrial Revolution is the period from 1760-1840 where manual labour was replaced with new technology and the repercussion shaped our society today. Some argue that the Second Industrial Revolution occurred around 1850 with the advancement of steam powered machines thus changing the way products were transported (steamboats and trains).
During the pre-industrial revolution clothing, farming (hand ploughs), and textiles were all done by hand. The introduction of machinery created looms to manufacture textiles and clothing as well as farm equipment on a mass scale at a fraction of the price and time. This was also true for cosmetics products during the revolution although in the beginning stages most women preferred to make their cosmetics at home.
In the 16th century, women would use white led as we would a foundation. Pale skin was a sign of wealth, were most of the common folk worked on farms and had tans. Red ocher was a common mineral powder (red clay and iron oxides) that women would use as a blush. Common hygiene tools included toothpicks and tweezers that were used to pluck eyebrows.
By the time of the 1800’s pale skin was still popular as well as thick dark eyebrows (this is Mr Moose comes in). Ladies would wear fake eyebrows made of fur from moose. White lead was replaced with zinc oxide and perfume was introduced.
With each advancement in technology, there were new products. By the end of the century, women enjoyed bar soap and bathroom were becoming popular among the wealthy. At the of the 1800’s cosmetics were deemed unacceptable except for prostitutes and actors. Many who supported make-up sold it under the table. This continued well into the Victoria Era.
The Industrial Revolution is responsible for many things that shaped our society today. Some Advancements include an 8 hour work day, school, labour unions, transportation, and paved roads.