Grooming items included toothbrushes, hairbrushes and combs, cosmetics, and
Personal adornment included rings, bracelets, hairpins, and purses.
Keepsakes included vases, picture frames, and birdcage parts.
Site maintained as a public service by Archaeological Research, PO Box 1353, Lucerne, CA 95458.
|Grooming, Personal Adornment, and Keepsakes
|History and Prehistory of Lake County
As there would have been both hot and cold water in the kitchen area
early in the morning and late in the evening, it is also possible that
some grooming would take place in this facility.
Graphs of grooming materials (right) suggest that less grooming took
place in the kitchen area than in the privacy of the dorm rooms. A
large selection of toothbrushes was recovered from the privy vault.
The locations of these items suggest that they were not used in the
Of the 18 toothbrushes recovered, at least 14 different brands were
represented. Most were made in France, however at least one was
from Japan, one from San Francisco, and one from San Bernardino.
All were made of bone or ivory and two had grooves on the back for
replacing worn out bristles.
Hair combs and brushes were found in Units B and C. All combs were
made of vulcanized rubber or celluloid. There were 14 regular combs,
5 flea combs, 2 hairband combs, and 2 brushes. The hair band combs
were most likely worn by the nuns to hold their hair back.
During a time when there were often many days between baths,
perfume and cologne was an important commodity.
Some of these bottles were sealed with tapered glass stoppers.
Hoyt’s German Cologne was introduced in 1870 by E.W. Hoyt. Hoyt
began working at E.A. Staniel’s apothecary shop in Lowell Mass. at age
13 (1851). When Staniels died in 1861, Hoyt took over the business.
He developed the cologne at the shop but by 1877 the cologne
business had grown so large that he sold the old shop to concentrate
on the cologne business. His partner F.B. Shedd was the marketing
wizard behind the product. Hoyt died in 1887, the same year Shedd
brought out Hoyt’s “Rubifoam” tooth wash (Hoyt 2005).
At least one of the cologne brands (Florida Water) can still be
purchased in stores today.
Personal adornment items were found in all Units, but appeared to be
more prominent in Unit A (closest to the Kitchen/Laundry building).
Hairpins, broaches, rings, beads, and necklace pieces were recovered.
Also recovered were two coin purse clasps and parts of three
Bracelets were made of copper (A-220), Brass (B-75), and glass (B-
299). One bronze pendant had “W.R. Bird, Grass Valley Cal.” Stamped
Cosmetic bottles included cold creams, Vaseline, three tooth-
brushing preparations, and a Resinol Chem. Co. bottle. The Resinol
Chem. Co. was first listed in the 1896 Baltimore City directory. The
company manufactured skin care products, soap, shaving soap, and a
laxative and tonic (Maryland Historical Society 1999).
Rubifoam was a ruby-red tooth brushing fluid introduced in 1887 by E.
W. Hoyt & Co. Lowell Mass. Sozodont was manufactured by Van
Buskirk (Fike 1987:181)
A ceramic cold cream or makeup jar was also recovered (B-14 below).
Keepsakes included “Victorian” era beveled picture frame and mirror
glass, vases, and fancy candle holders.
Along the same lines as keepsakes were fancy brass tongs that were
often packaged with a box of chocolates. Here we have one with
“Huskey’s”, one with “Geo Hass & Sons”, and one with “Christopher’s”
stamped in the metal.
Also listed with the keepsakes are pet related items. A glass bird
feeder that would have attached to a bird cage (A-449) and a fancy
napkin holder with a tennis racket design (B-33) were recovered.
It is logical to assume that grooming would take place in the privacy of one’s dorm
room. For the nuns these were in the Chapel building, for the students these were in
the main school building facing Palm Street.