Title: Buffalo Bill | The American Exhibition in London—American Indians and English Ladies—What an American Lady saw at the Wild West Show

Periodical: New York Times

Date: December 18, 1887

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BUFFALO BILL.

THE AMERICAN EXHIBITION IN LONDON—AMERICAN INDIANS AND ENGLISH LADIES—WHAT AN AMERICAN LADY SAW AT THE WILD WEST SHOW.

A well-known member of New-York society just arrived from London and who attended the American Exhibition and Wild West Show this summer gave a reporter some of her observations at the English capital. One of the most astonishing facts was the treatment of Buffalo Bill's Indians by English women, some of them belonging to noble families. "You can imagine my feelings," said the lady, "to see one Indian with ten or twelve diamond rings on his fingers which had been given him by his different admirers, and these English ladies came by scores to see them at the show, and desiring introductions afterward. Of course the exhibition itself was a success and a great advantage to American merchants. There were many notable displays but I consider the most beautiful was that of Mrs. Harriet Hubbard Ayer's [1] Recamier preparations, and they seemed to sell like hot cakes, too. I often heard English ladies saying, 'Oh! here are the Recamier preparations that Patti [2] and Mrs. Langtry [3] use and recommend; we must try them too.' It is simply wonderful the success Mrs. Ayer has made, and the whole secret perhaps lies in the fact that 'her word is as good as her bond,' and the Recamier preparations are not cosmetics.

"There was a very strong discussion before the Committee of the American Exhibition as to whether or not the first award should be given to Mrs. Ayer, because the committee claimed that it was utterly impossible to give an award to 'cosmetics.' Mrs. Ayer's agents were then compelled to have the Preparations analyzed and to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the committee that they were not 'cosmetics,' not injurious, but absolutely beneficial. After this was done the committee gave the award to Mrs. Ayer.

Since my arrival in New-York I have found everybody using them. Old friends of mine I hadn't seen for years, but whom I always associated with blackheads, pimples, liver spots, and other disgusting marks so common to the faces of women, I now find with complexions fresh, rosy, and soft as a young child's, and they all say, 'We have been using the Recamier preparations. Do you notice the improvement?' I happened in at B. Altman & Co.'s a few days ago and I there found a special saleswoman for the Recamier preparations, and all retail dealers seem to have them for sale; but do you know, I have noticed that a great many retailers, when I have asked for the Recamier preparations have endeavored to palm off some other preparation, which they assured me was just as good? Of course I would not be taken in that way, but one or two of my friends have been imposed upon, and they almost ruined their looks for life by using some imitation of the Recamier preparations.

"I see Mrs. Ayer, at her retail store, 27 Union Square, is giving a dose of 'Vita Nuova' (New Life) to any one who desires it, and the the average daily attendance is about 200 persons. It seems to me that this is very shrewd, as it enables people to test without cost the merit of the medicine to find out that it is not bad to take, and that it is immediately beneficial; and it also enables poor people to get the benefit of the medicine where they cannot afford to buy it themselves. Ladies or gentlemen who are fatigued during the day find that a dose will revive them at once, improve the appetite, relieve dyspepsia, indigestion, nervousness, and sleeplessness. It is amusing to hear the guesses of different dealers as to the ingredients of Vita Nuova (New Life;) they all know it is made from the prescription of Mrs. Ayer's physician, and some of them try to sell you as a substitute for Vita Nuova (New Life) their own sarsaparilla or wine of coca, or some other things on which they make a big profit. Intelligent people pretty generally insist on Vita Nuova (New Life;) they ridicule the idea of anything being a substitute for it, and they are right. No medicine to-day has such a reputation for remarkable cures or quick relief as Vita Nuova (New Life). Its preparation is carefully superintended by Mrs. Ayer, and one of its principal ingredients is manufactured expressly for her by the leading chemical company in the United States, after inquiring at numerous druggists she failed to secure the pure article. This is why many physicians recommend Vita Nuova (New Life) after Mrs. Ayer has given them the formula, which, of course, she is always willing to do."—Exchange

Note 1: Harriet Hubbard Ayer (1849-1903) founded the Recamier Manufacturing Company in New York City in 1886; the company produced skin products marketed as 'toilet preparations.' Ayer later took an editorial position on the New York Herald, becoming the highest paid woman journalist in the United States in 1901. [back]

Note 2: Adelina Patti (1843-1929), born Adela Juana Maria Patti, was an acclaimed Italian soprano who sang roles in the operas of Rossini, Gounod, and Verdi, among others; she was known for her pure, sweet soprano and dazzling technique. [back]

Note 3: Born Emilie Charlotte Le Breton on the Isle of Jersey, Lily (or Lillie) Langtry (1853-1929), nicknamed the Jersey Lily, became a stage actress and producer in the early 1880s; she was known for her relationships with noblemen, including the Prince of Wales, the Earl of Shrewsbury, and Prince Louis of Battenberg. [back]

Title: Buffalo Bill | The American Exhibition in London—American Indians and English Ladies—What an American Lady saw at the Wild West Show

Periodical: New York Times

Date: December 18, 1887

Also appeared as:

  Title:

  Periodical: Daily Inter Ocean

  Date: January 8, 1888

Also appeared as:

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  Periodical: Daily Alta California

  Date: January 15, 1888

Topic: European Tours

Keywords: Advertising--Cosmetics American Indians B. Altman & Co. Beauty, Personal Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show Cosmetics Endorsements in advertising North American Indian

People: Ayer, Harriet Hubbard, 1849-1903 Langtry, Lillie, 1853-1929 Patti, Adelina, 1843-1919

Place: Union Square (New York, N.Y.)

Sponsor: This project is supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Geraldine W. & Robert J. Dellenback Foundation.

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