1886: David H. McConnell and wife Lucy start the California Perfume Company with its first product, the Little Dot Perfume Set, which contains five different fragrances. The company literally will become a household word: Avon.
1886: Harriet Hubbard Ayer (1849-1903) married at 16 and lived the life of a wealthy society matron in Chicago until 1882, then separated from (and eventually divorced) her husband.
In 1886, she manufactured and sold Recamier Cream, a facial cream named for famous French beauty Madame Juliette Récamier, as a mail-order product.
She lost control of her company in 1893 when her daughter and ex-husband had her committed to a mental asylum. She was released a year later, but her career in the cosmetics industry was over. Ayer became a journalist writing a column on beauty advice for The New York World.
1887: Proctor & Gamble pioneer one of the nation’s first profit-sharing programs. They also are among the first in American industry to invest in a research laboratory.
1888: An unknown inventor from Philadelphia invents the original formulation for Mum, generally recognized as the first-ever "deodorant."
1890: Alexandre Godefoy invents the first electric hair dryer, adapted from a vacuum cleaner.
Coming tomorrow: Makeup Comes Out