Deep Dive: Exploring the Exhibits

American Ideal Powder Perfume by the California Perfume Co.

This is a bottle of American Ideal powder perfume, made by the California Perfume Co. (now known as Avon Products, Inc). The manufacturing date of this bottle ranges between the 1910's and the 1930's. The bottle is all glass, with a metal screw cap at the top. The bottle itself contains more than half its total powdered content, although it has turned a tan color due to how old it has become.

The label contains the following text surrounded by a floral design taking the shape of an emblem:

“American

Ideal

California

Perfume Co.

New York”


The California Perfume Co. was founded by David H. McConnell, initially a door-to-door book salesmen in New York. When he decided to switch from books to selling perfume, he set up his office in Manhattan. While operating in New York, he changed the name of his business to the "California Perfume Company" in 1892, as his business partner was living in California at the time. In 1909, the company signed for incorporation in the state of New Jersey, and then later become incorporated in the state of New York in 1916. The company would finally be renamed "Avon Products Incorporated" in 1939.


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