This is a Victorian trade card advertising Hall's Hair Renewer. This type of advertising card was popular with advertisers and collectors in the late 19th century, before postcards became popular. Unlike postcards, there was not a standardized size for trade cards--this one is 3-1/8" X 4-3/4". Trade cards typically had a picture on one side and advertising on the reverse.
The advertising on the back of this card makes Hall's Vegetable Sicilian Hair Renewer sound like a miracle all-purpose hair product, but it really was a quack product.
According to Hall himself the product formula was given to him by an Italian sailor hence the name Sicilian Hair Renewer. However the actual product formula changed over time. Initially the formula was composed of 60% water, 36% glycerine, 2% lead sugar, and trace amounts of sulfur, sage, raspberry leaves, tea, and oil of citronella. Later on though the formula was 52% water, 26% glycerine, 13% Jamaica rum, 7% bay rum, and trace amounts of lead, sulfur, and salt. The lead combines with the sulfur to form lead sulfides that darken the hair shaft. However, lead is also poisonous…(source)
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