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Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • LAKE GARDA, ITALY

I Could Just Dye: 1937

I Could Just Dye: 1937

July 10, 1937. Washington, D.C. "Testing cosmetics for the government. Mrs. R. Goodman is shown sitting with Mrs. C.R. West applying dye for the hair. Some dyes contain lead and the poison in the dye may lead to chronic poisoning. The Department of Agriculture is continually on the lookout for false labels and advertising." Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.

 

She's just asking for trouble

I mean, everyone knows not to drink Worcestershire Sauce while you're getting a perm.

Hard sell?

How would one go about advertising for people to be a part of this study?

"Wanted: Young women, preferably with no family, to take part in government study. Free cosmetics makeover for those involved. May experience brain damage, scarring, burning, respiratory distress, or death. Or not.
Serve your country in a fashionable way!"

Mrs. Goodman

looks as though she's been inhaling a few too many of those chemical treatments.

Re: Acid Rinse

That's one way to wash that grey right outa her hair.

Curl up and dye

I'm surprised to see that by the mid 30's the government was already starting to crack down on quack and dangerous beauty products.

People used to apply some pretty scary stuff back in those days.

H2S04

That's all Mrs. Goodman is missing, a Sulfuric Acid rinse.

 
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Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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