Magda Toilet Cream Jar

Magda Toilet Cream was created in the late 1800’s by the Countie family in Boston, Massachusetts. The company was later bought out by Pond’s Cold Cream. The Magda Toilet Cream Jar and its legacy essentially represents the standard of beauty that was prominent in the late 1800’s/early 1900’s. Skincare and beauty was essential for women to maintain their appearance, attract a mate, and basically signify their social class. In that time period (and today still) people used face creams that would lighten their complexion, because there was this belief that people with lighter skin were wealthier and of higher social status than people who were tan or deep-skinned, which was associated with being of the lower or working class. Obviously, there were deep ties to prejudice and racism associated with early cosmetics and beauty products. Also, face creams at that time contained toxic chemicals, such as mercury and other corrosive substances that would cause weight loss, nausea, atrophy, paralysis, and even death. However, women still braved these dangers in order to achieve an impossible standard of beauty.

The object itself is a small porcelain jar with blue Chinese-inspired designs, with the name of the product, the family name, and location printed on the side. The jar seems to be missing its lid, and the mouth of it has a large chip, with dirt or residue forming along the inside rim. It weighs about 10 oz and would be 2 ½ inches high if the lid was intact. Read more.

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