Sunday, December 1, 2019

Beauty and Health

The other day I had to meet someone at a building owned by my friend Donna.  Once upon a time, the building held her antique store – Miss Hattie’s Place.  However, she moved the store to Rosenberg and now the building is used for storage and as a workshop.  So, while waiting, I picked up a book and thumbed through it.  And now, I’m going to share this magical little self-help book with you.

Beauty and Health
A course in loveliness
By: J. Howard Crum, MD

He touches on every aspect of making a woman beautiful (and it’s not inner good glowing outward).  His topics include

Gaining and Losing Weight
Cosmetic Dancing
Eternal Youthfulness
Conquer Worry
Personality Tonics
Sunshine as an Aid to Loveliness
Firm, Well-molded Breasts
The Truth about Plastic Surgery
Improve your Voice

along with

The Crum-a-cises

He suggests “a few simple movements” which should be done twice a day.  According to Dr Crum, they

should be done in a room with the windows wide open whether summer or winter.  The exercise should be done without clothing of any kind.  Wearing clothes will restrict your movements, prevent you from seeing what you are doing and deprive you of the inestimable benefits arising from having the cold air play directly upon every inch of your body. 

Okay – flash the neighbors too. 

Lovely Complexion

For a beautiful complexion, he suggests

1.    Turn on water.  Get it lukewarm
2.    Cup water in hands and apply on face and neck till skin is warm
3.    Lather face and neck and scrub with a brush or stone
4.    Wash lather off
5.    Add hot water and rinse again until skin is quite warm
6.    Add cold water and rinse again.
7.    Dry with coarse towel
8.    Rub face with paper towel.

Hmmmmm – pass.

Care of Hair

Interesting though doubtful . . . 

Your hair is nothing more or less than a special kind of skin. There is a color mixing laboratory in the mechanism of each hair.  When the laboratory is running full blast, it produces brown, black, red or whatever. When the laboratory slows up because of the slowing up of vital activities throughout the body, it fails to produce the pigment and is only able to produce gray hair which is hair without color.

Also, according to the doctor, baldness (for men or women) is caused by wearing short hair styles, hats, and not exercising your hair muscles enough.   Not scalp – each hair follicle has it’s on set of muscles that push the hair up and out.

Poor Elimination

Some people fall to the depths of melancholy and feel guilty if they fair to eliminate once or more often each day and then in turn are in seventh heaven when they succeed in accomplishing the feat. 

His suggestion for this problem is first thing every morning drink 3 large glasses of warm salt water as fast as you can.

Care of Eyelashes

Now, don’t we all want long eyelashes?  Here you go –

You may obtain some help by gently pulling and jerking on the lashes each day.

Hmmmmm – again pass, pass, pass

These are just a few of the tips from this - uhhhhhh – unusual, uncommon, strange, bizarre little book.  To be honest, I didn’t read it, cover to cover, just sort of picked and chose.  But everything I did read stayed in the same vein as above - questionable.  

Because I’m generally curious, I looked up Dr. J(ohn) Howard Crum.  In 1917 his occupation was described as “Experimental Medicine” working for Parke Davis Pharmaceuticals.  In 1925, Sales Manager.  And, by 1940, he’s listed as a plastic surgeon with an office on Fifth Avenue in NYC.  He did reach some public fame when, in 1931 he performed the first public face-lift on record in the Grand Ballroom of the Pennsylvania Hotel in New York and followed it with several others, during which a pianist accompanied him with popular tunes.  A plastic surgeon with questionable ethics certainly.  Really truly a doctor?  I have no idea however he wrote this book and a couple other on how to be beautiful.

Anyway if you’re looking for beauty tips my friend is selling Beauty and Health on ebay. 

1 Dec 2019


  1. OMG!! You want to exfoliate? Try sand paper and you'll get the same results as his book does. The first one I'd keep bail money in a separate bank account. Back then anyone could claim to ba a doctor until someone questioned his credentials. Sad to say that quacks got away with it back then.

    1. Actually he suggested bleach or in severe cases, shaving. Electrolysis, sez he, causes scars and pits. Mostly, women don't have excess hair - just down (like a duck!).

  2. Reminds me of that fake doctor in the papers in the fifties, next to Ann Landers. Diets to make you attractive to your husband. Trash like that. When he finally was dropped from the newspaper chain, there was an outcry among many housewives. I wrote a letter to our editor, thanking him. He was boosted in the sixties, when I was in college.

  3. Pure bullshit, like all "beauty tips" whether ancient or modern.

  4. Men certainly do have some odd ideas about what's good for women, don't they?

  5. So interesting! My hair started turning grey in my teens. That is why my brain must be Medium Brown, thanks to Loreal Excellence. I don't think I want to exercise naked. My luck, I would fall over and be injured and what will I say, my clothes just fell off? 😯

  6. Don't you just love those old books? Google books has a lot of them. Was even able to find a couple old genealogy books about my ancestors.

  7. People do have odd ideas of what a woman should be .
    I was reading a 1920's magazine today . It spoke of "dainty freshness coveted by every woman" - and this was about making a frill to put round your neck a Christmas .