This lovely picture of a girl in a red coat in the snow advertising Sunlight
Soap is one from my collection of costume prints. It has everything I love
about the diverse nature of costume history.
Such a print can be used as part of room decoration at Christmas to give a
nostalgic turn of the century with a Victorian or Edwardian feel and help
create a themed atmosphere in your home with perhaps Victorian girls in red
Washing was a big feature of Victorian and Edwardian lifestyles behind the
scenes and little girls clad in snow white pinafores were always popular in
pictures. Laundry was a never ending chore. A whole day would be spent just
washing and boiling clothes especially white goods. Another day would be
spent drying the washing and a third day ironing it. In winter it was
doubly hard and clothes were mangled to remove excess water before drying an
arduous task demanding some strength. Laundry was therefore big business
and then as now appealing advertisements such as these were essential to
capture the growing soap market.
Sunlight Soap was invented by William Lever and by the Edwardian era, he sold
40,000 tons of soap made from a formula of tallow, palm oil and resin all in
a year. Later he moved from his Warrington premises to found the world
famous Port Sunlight site. The Lever Company is world renowned today and a
giant manufacturer of soaps and other products. Sunlight Soap is not sold
in Britain anymore, but it can be found in places such as Sri Lanka and
Here is another soap advert, but referring to dolly blue for clothes
whitening, the original optical illusion whitener and also to aniline
synthetic dyes which were colourfast. Laundry blue and optical whiteners
are still used today, but are now incorporated into detergent products.
Fashion-Era.com looks at women's costume and fashion history and analyses the mood of an era. Changes in technology, leisure, work, cultural and moral values. Homelife and politics also
contribute to lifestyle trends, which in turn influence the clothes we wear. These are the changes that make any era of society special in relation to the study of the costume of a period.
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For superb Victorian or Edwardian re-enactment costumes in USA, try the reproduction costume range at: recollections.biz