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BERNARD CARTON, a Parisian phi
losopher, writer and lecturer, and a
student of human nature, has turned
his attention to the fair sex and is
making a study of how they spend
He has found that 7000 hours of the average
woman's life are spent in viewing herself, not
only in her mirror, but in the surface of all kinds
of queer reflectors. And this between the age
of 6 and 60. Ten months of fifty-four years of
her life are given over to looking at the arrange
ment of her hair, the tilt of her hat, the hang
of her skirt, the effect of certain colors, the
"make-up" of her faceby which she means, M.
Carton states, the arrangement of her features
as made by naturethe fit of her bodice, the ad
justment of her belt and at her whole general ap
pearance. As M. Carton states his observations
Approximately the extremist in this "reflector
habit" stands before the mirror, or some article
with a shiny surface, three hours out of every
twenty-four, and she acquires the habit at the
early age of two and continues to be a victim
to it as long as there is a reflpctor and she is
about to be reflected.
Working on this average, and I have been
moderate in my statement as every society wom
an will acknowledge, this woman at the top of
the list views herself for 1095 hours in 365 days.
If she lives to be 65 and commences to try her
dimples before a pier glass at the age of 2, as
she undoubtedly will, in those 63 years she will
have gazed at her reflected image for no less
than 68,985 hours or 4,139,100 minutes by close
This startling array of figures, put side by side
with the fifteen minutes a day of the very busy
woman, totaled and divided gives the average
of 7000 hours, to every woman. A pretty good
showing for such an occupation.
It is amusing to note the number of queer
things a woman will utilize as mirrors. Of course
there are the miniature hand glasses carried in
the purse, in the muff, in the opera bag, worn on
the chatelaine at the side, attached to the fan
and even fastened in the lining of the hat, but
these I will pass lightly over in favor of the odd
substitutes. for the bonafide mirror.
All Sorts of Mirrors Popular
The ,plate glass store window, especially the
one which reaches to within a few inches of the
ground, is witness to many amusing evidences of
woman's vanity, if this unconscious viewing of
herself can be termed vanity.
I took my stand in front of these traps one
day and proceeded to take notes. Nine out of
every ten women that passed gave backward
glances to catch the hang of their skirts. The
entire ten gave themselves a quick survey and
six out of the number walked deliberately up to
the window, patted th^eir hair, smootned down
their jackets, gave their skirts a twist and
7- walked serenely on, seemingly unconscious that
they had given the onlooker the impression that
they were putting the finishing touches to their
"^-toilettes, which should have been attended to
-,.before their dressing tables, on the public high
Even the little tots, pirouetted, fluffed their
-tiny skirts,"twirled their curls, smiled and dim
iyfrpled at their reflections in .comical imitation of
Sljtheir elders. A snap shot of a mother and her
children made a funny picture. The woman
was carefully arranging the folds of her skirt,
JVwhile the baby, put her curls first behind her
S'vjears and then shook them front again, soberly
v-^studying the effect. The older little girl craned
||!her neck to catch sight of herself,' and for fully
jjp^two minutes the pantomime continued. Then the
J|Kfunniest thing I had yet witnessed occurred. Two
ff^ charming* girls, attired most alluringly, marched
H-, straight up to the window and'took a leisurely
view of themselves, from the plumes on their
new chappeaux to the tips of their patent
i leather boots they smoothed herey straightened
there, rearranged a side comb, pulled out hat
pins and put them in again and as they seemed
about-to pass on the climax came. It came and
passed so quickly I hadn't time to raise the shut
ter of my camera before they had passed' and I
had lost forever my opportunity to preserve this
purely feminine act. Girl No. 1 stepped in front
of beauty No. 2 while the latter whipped the
tiniest imaginable powder puff from her pocket,
and standing on tiptoe to gaze in the surface of
a plain gold brooch, which her tall friend wore
at her neck in the back, hastily dusted her nose
It is long in the telling, that cream "of the
morning's observations, but piff! it was over in
a second, in the snapping of a finger and before
I had time to do more than raise the camera
into position. I. have neve overcome my cha
grin at having let that prize slip through my fin
But the law of compensation was at work, for
as I turned from the window feeling confident
that nothing half as delightful, as the incident
of the brooch would take place there and hating
to risk an anti-climax, my eye caught a strange
maneuver on the- opposite side of the street.
A delivery wagon, with sides smooth and- shin-
ing, had ,drawn up to the curb, and .posing di:
rectly in front of these same shiny sides was a
little slip of a woman. v--
I hastened across and cautiously walked past
N wall coverings for the Tdtchen and
bathroom paper, with an oil. finish.is
now preferred tq the familiar varnish.
It looks better and withstands the ef
feet of moisture just as well.
A patented contrivance for- household service
is an egg separator, designed to instantly sepa
rate the white from the yelk of an' egg. It is
of aluminum and about four inches in diameter.
One housewife who Considers the casserole in
valuable gives this bit of advice concerning this
popular cooking utensil to her less experienced
the absorbed little woman. As I passed I
glanced at the wagon, and there, sure enough,
on the side was the reflection of myself and
milady vanity. She was tilting her hat to. a
more becoming angle and I caught her squarely
in the act. The click of the shutter drew her
attention to my poor unfortunate self and I
wilted under her indignant glance.
Although the wagon and* I stood at attention
for fully fifteen minutes nothing of further inter
est happened, and I strolled on looking for more
worlds and reflectors.
Anything that Reflects
Show cases drew many to them who did not
even glance at the contents of the case, but
smiled or frowned at their own reflections.
Walking through the music room of a large
department store I saw -several women use the
polished surface of pianos and stools as.mirrors.
Making a" note of this I determined to watch
my own women folk about the house.
My sister gave me many eye openers and
frankly talked with me on the subject, when I
made some comment. She told me why a woman
seldom objected to being kept waiting outside- a
dutch door with a curtain back of the glass half.
This affords an excellent means,of viewing one
self, as do well polished bells and name plates.
"The one thing to guard against is that thiey
sometimes spring or crack on first using them.
This is avoided by rubbing the underneath with
garlic. This information was gained from a
French chef and has been found to answer pefc
Muslin may be bleached by wetting it thor
oughly and then spreading it out on the grass in
the sun. Repeat this "as often as necessary, or
try javelle water. This, useful mixture is. sold,
by most druggists, but it is not difficult to make
and is much less expensive'' when prepared at
home. Every laundress should use it, as it is
very efficacious in keeping table linen and chil
dren's white clothes free from fruit stains. A
MINNEAPOLIS JOURNAL SUNDAY, DECEMBER 3,1905
Average WomaifSpends 7*0,00 Haurs Before Mirrors
The metal tops of purses, eyeglasses, watch cases,
even broad-bladed penknives, are held up in
front of smiling faces while the owners quickly
look to make sure that all is well.
Stepping out into the kitchen unannounced
and not searching for material I stumbled upon
a rich find. There was our dainty maid primp
ing in front of a new pie pan which she held so as
to catch her reflection. I stood like a statue,
scarcely daring to..breathe lest I startle her and
trying not to wink for fear I would miss a move
ment. The situation was delightful.
The maid, all unconscious of any watching eye,
pulled out the ruffles of her bewitching apron,
ran her fingers lightly through her hair, smiled
at herself, then frowned and smiled again. When
she put the pan down she was all ready to open
the door to Alphonso when he should knock,
secure in the knowledge that ghe was looking her
best. But first I had to make my escape. She
jumped and blushed furiously at my cough, "but
owned up bravely when I accused her of nightly
using this substitute for the mirror which the
rear apartments lacked. Who but a woman would
have thought of using such a substitute?
At a musicale some evenings later I saw many
articles of furniture catch and hold the ladies'
eyes and I.thought, as I noted the increased vi
vaciousness of expression as they caught sight
Ligh te Hou sehold Cares
small teacupful of the fluid added to a boiler of
water will assist materially in keeping the clothes
white, and will not injure them in the least.
A marble mantel that is discolored may be paint
ed with oil colors like the woodwork to make it
less noticeable in the room. Sometimes a man
tel of this kind is bronzed in dull green. A
straight length of embroidery may be laid on the
top of a mantel' of this kind, but no ruffle should
To polish the dining-table. take a quarter of a
pound of beeswax (the unbleached will do) and
have ready a.piece of carpet a quarter of a yard
square, lined with a piece of cloth and padded.
of their own pretty selves reflected somewhere,
of our national toast to the ladies: "Here's to'
the light that lies in a woman's eyesand lies
and lies and lies."
It was not always a beaumot that made her eyes
dance and sparkle, but often the silent compli
ment of some shiny bit of furniture.
New Use for Spoons
I was destined to learn much, to take many
steps forward in my search, or to give the ladies
their due, to be pushed gently along to almost
the end by them that evening.
It^was at the beginning of supper when the
soup" was served that I saw my vis a vis delib
erately pick up her spoon and glance at herself
in the bowl. There was no mistaking the action.
I questioned her later and she confessed serenely
and even consented to pose for me in that po
sition. She seemed quite proud of the fact that
she had discovered this odd use for a soup spoon.
Hold the wax before a fire, and as it melts coat
the cloth well with it, and while yet warm begin
to rub the table briskly. Rub for a quarter of
To make cement for china take a solution of
gum arabic and stir in enough plaster of Paris to
make a soft paste. This is quite colorless and
holds china excellently. For very delicate china
some people tie the pieces carefully in place with
tapes, stand the article in a saucepan of cold milk
and very slowly heat it to boiling point and then
move the saucepan back from the fire and let the
china stay in for about five minutes, after which
it is carefully^lifled^.ojftt^ajid o]acedt on a shelf
till dry. ?*^'^'^t%^ tt^Atf^'
When an elderly matron gazed absent-mindedly
into my eyes while I discussed the latest excava-.
tions of Rome with her I couldn't but wonder
whether she caught her reflection in my eyes,
and I gazed back at her endeavoring to see my
self in her "orbs" until I am sure we must have
presented a very laughable. spectacle. I didn't
learn whether or not she was using my eyes for
reflectors, but I think it quite possible.
From the ball room to the office my search
trailed. I had completed a lecture onwell, no
matter whatand marched into my typist's office
to have it typed, to find her standing at rapt at
tention in front of a framed glass covered rail-
Slowly she lifted her hand to her brow as
though in deep thought and as slowly pulled out
first a hairpin, then a comb, then more, pins, and
while I stood too stunned to retreat or advance, i
this absorbed young woman, her eyes mysteri
ously on the map, or so I thought, rearranged^
When the last pin was in place I spoke. She
turned without a trace of embarrassment and.
addressed me: "I thought I had slipped the
lock. This office is frightfully bare, not even a
mirror I am forced to use the pictures to see-.,
whether or not my hat is on straight or my hair
So that was it. Not the railroad map, no, not.
that held her attention, it is doubtful whether
she could have told what the glass protected,
but her bwn reflected self. She confided to me
that nearly every office worker in the land used
some such substitute for a mirror and she said
that the glances cast therein were not confined
to the female portion of the office staff, that the
men arranged their ties and smoothed their hair
before these reflectors quite as unabashed as their
sisters. But my thesis did not treat of the
vanity of my brothers, so I dropped the subject
at this point, quite' content at having rolled the
number of hours which a woman spends viewing
herself at 7000 as the moderate average. 4'Vj %"r