Thursday, February 26, 2015

Wonderful Things To Come....

When I first started LBCC Historical, it came at a time of personal change..  It was either throw yourself into your dream career or start looking for a job. I wasn’t sure how the general public would react to working with and offering historical and historically based recipes. I was hoping that after some gentle prodding our apothecary and cosmetics would spark interest in the public.  Previously, it wasn’t really talked about save a few brave souls. It was time to bring it mainstream.
YEP! It seems like a long time ago!

I wasn’t even sure we could reproduce the exact historical recipe and have product that people would want. I mean lets face it- when we started this journey LARD in your hair was frowned upon. We have all come a long way in our understanding of how beneficial these historically natural ingredients are for us- I had nothing to worry about after all. Now that we have been at it for a few years, it’s time to review and upgrade things a bit. We have gone through the shop and decided that we will be discontinuing some of our first items, because we can now replicate those according to the exact recipe.

We have 3 different types of historical products in the store.
1.      Historically Accurate
2.      Historically Accurate+1
3.      Historically Based

We care greatly about historical accuracy and try to provide accurate products, which isn’t always easy. But we are proud to say that well over half our recipes are unaltered and those that are, we have specified what we have done. We never take away from the recipe. If we need to add something it is usually a consistency issue or a shelf life issue. We will now be listing these at the top of the description. Previously we went into detail about what we added, and we still will, but this will make it easy and clear for everyone to understand.
What does this mean:

1.   Historically Accurate-  Obviously this means we haven’t changed anything.  Nothing has changed. This is the majority of the recipes already in the shop.
A Natural Tint For The Lips 1857 Godey's Ladies Book


2.   Historically Accurate+1 – This refers to adding 1 historical ingredient.  The reason for this isn’t because we don’t want to be as historically accurate as we can. It’s because usually it’s a consistency issue or a shelf life issue and when you are making the product at home ( like many did) it’s one thing.. but if you have a pharmacists, or apothecary, making it for their shop and it has to hold up on the shelf, that is another thing. We only will add historically appropriate ingredients which is why we are calling this Historically Accurate + 1. It happened all the time historically. I even have original books with the original pencil scratchings, changing things around or adding something more for stability. ( See Below)
Did you know, that one problem with cold creams historically was that there really was no agent to keep the fat and water bound together, so after it warmed up it had a tendency to separate or to become thin. Cold Creams had a very short life which is why when they were purchased, they came in little containers- like ours in the shop, vs the large ones the stores sell today. By the end of the 19th century 2 major advances in cold creams happened. Borax, and Petroleum.  We will soon have a 1920’s petroleum cold cream for you to try.
To counter this issue, a pharmacist would change the amounts of beeswax or add specific types of gums that would help with the consistency and shelf life.  At home, women who made these recipes would change or add things as well. We see examples of this with early personal recipe books. “ Mama’s lip salve” for example, these were recipes, which were passed down and changed as needed. 

Westminster City Archives: The Cookbook of Unknown Ladies

"Receipt for a Lip Salve – Mammas Way
Take a pint & half of claret, a qr of a pd of currants, 1 pd of butter without salt, 4 or 5 ounces of Virgins Wax & 2 ounces of ye root Alkanet, otherwise call’d Alcony.  This last with ye wine & currants must be boyl’d a pritty while. Afterwards, ye butter & wax being put in, must be boyl’d a little, then strain all into a bason. If, when cold, you find it too soft, add more wax. If too hard, add more butter. When it tis cold, ye top must be taken of & melted by it self & strain’d into little cups for use. If you have a mind to sweeten it, strain it with orange flower water or what else you think fit."

We still do this in our shop when we need to because of a shelf life issue, consistency, or because a specific ingredient ( like spermaceti) is no longer available. So these still are completely historical in every way. We are thinking as a pharmacist or chemist and even a housewife of that time.
This is an example from my personal collection. This is a book on perfume recipes and it was previously owned by a pharmacist. I found it fascinating to look at his markings and changes.


     3. Historically Based: These are the ones, which we took many historical recipes and combined them together, or we took part of the recipe and combined it with modern/ and or historical ingredients to make it better. These are the recipes which had potential, but for whatever reason we couldn’t or didn’t want to reproduce the exact recipe, maybe you don’t want lead on your skin, or maybe by adding coconut oil and making sure all our ingredients are organic.. we make the recipe 100% more awesome and our ancestors would be proud.

Shakespeare's Love Balm- This salve is taken from, “A Winters Tale,” and combined with ingredients used by famous courtesans throughout history. 


We serve people from all walks of life, - not just the historically minded. Some just want a really unique gift while others need something for their living history and reenactments. Still others are museums, and some don’t even care about the historical accuracy, they just want a great natural product. We also have a lot of customers who are just interested in makeup and different natural cosmetics. Many of us whether historically minded or modern-ly minded want to stay away from icky chemicals and get back to nature. We love the fact that we can offer a wide range of historical and historically based products that our ancestors used and now people are finding their way back to these great recipes. By offering a wide array, we can serve everyone and educate at the same time, which is important to us.

 As our business and customer base expands, we will continue to offer both historical recipes that have and have not been altered.
 Some Wonderful Changes Are Happening: 
I thought I’d take this time to fill you in on our upgrades and such.

1.   We care about accuracy so much, that the first few recipes we ever made and maybe even a few “historically Inspired” ones which we feel aren’t accurate or good enough will be saying goodbye and we will be replacing these with new absolutely 100% authentic historical recipes. This is how we prefer to roll -As accurately as we can..while running a business that caters to everyone while finding recipes, that help, heal, and are good for you.
2.    My Apothecary Lab, Office, & Shipping Area are all getting completely redone. YEAH!!
3.   We now have one of those sketchy white-working vans.  It won’t look so sketchy when our huge logo is on it. That will be put on as soon as we get warmer weather. So now you will be able to see us as we drive to events. Make sure to honk and wave!
4.    We are getting a front expansion for our marquis tent. Which will make your shopping experience nicer, shadier, cooler, or warmer depending on the weather and we will have a bit more space.
5.    We are currently working on getting reproduced 18th century cosmetic brushes, toothbrushes, and even reproduced toilette boxes.
6.   We will also be offering a new line of wooden pomatum and salve jars.
7.   We are diligently working on improving bottles for you as well. We started already with some of the authentic rouges, but we will be continuing to replace bottles and containers, as we find more historical ones to offer and/or we find ones that seal properly unlike some of our cork woes.
8.   We have new product lines coming out which include the Civil War, the 1920’s , Victorian, as well as more authentic 18th century rouges and such.
9.   We just got the newest GoPro- which I hope will solve my video problems and help us make better, crisper, and clearer high quality videos for you. We are always open to suggestions for what you want to see. Let is know!
10.     Credit Cards? Previously we were only taking them with the phone which as everyone knows doesn’t always work the best, we now have a large tablet with a different carrier which promises to get us a good connection in the places we need it. This will make it easier and faster for you when you see us in person. I won’t have to walk a mile now to get a signal. (Happy Dance)
11.     We have also been invited to some Civil War events this year, so maybe you will see us there!
New and exciting things in progress!!

To sum everything up! We have wonderful things happening and are so thankful that you have supported us ( me) in my journey. Even though we are upgrading a lot we continued to stay devoted to historical accuracy and any time we can keep a recipe original we do and any time we can toss out a old recipe from the shop for one more historical, we will. But please remember as much as we love history, we want to continue bringing you quality products from history even if we have to make it better by adding a historical ingredient. We are devoted to keeping you in the loop and offering top quality naturally organic, and historical products, so you can live safer and better lives without the chemicals. Our Ancestors had a few things right.. even if lead wasn’t one of them  :)


  1. Might you consider making Hungary Water? I love its strong rosemary scent. (The current thing being sold by Crabtree and Evelyn is NOT Hungary Water.)

    1. You will be glad to know Hungary Water is on our list! The question is which recipe to use? Should we go with an earlier recipe which is more rosemary? or a later one which has lot of additional ingredients? We have been collecting Hungary Water recipes maybe we will do a early recipe and a later recipe, so everyone can decide which to try. :) Thanks for your comment!