May 15, 2013

Vintage Stratton Compact

A vintage compact I found in my mother's desk, a souvenir most likely from England in the 1970s. I'd never heard of the company Stratton before, but back when compact sizes were the same all over the world, they were a big name. The company was established over 150 years ago, and in the 1940s, over half the compacts (and other "handbag accessories" such as lipstick cases) in Britain were supplied by Stratton. Today, they manufacture compacts with cotton covers.

It's not that women don't use compacts anymore -- they do -- but compact sizes are dictated by individual cosmetics companies, and are generally made of plastic. (A lot of compacts are theoretically reusable, but companies also seem to change their compact sizes fairly frequently, forcing the consumer to re-purchase a new compact ever time they buy any pressed-powder makeup.) I like the idea of a standardized compact size. They were probably popular gifts for women, and using a compact from abroad was a subtle way of signalling your uniqueness.

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