Friday, November 30, 2012

"Powder your Face with Sunshine" and Stratton

A little piece of history came in the mail today.

I won an ebay auction lot of three Stratton compacts!

Oohhh yeaaah!!

Sold! To the highest bidder- Me!

Stratton compacts of England were the compacts of their time. If a gal pulled a Stratton out of her handbag, you knew she had style.

In 1948, the Stratton company patented a self-opening inner lid. The door inside would pop up to reveal the powder beneath. That way a poodle wouldn't chip her nails opening the powder compartment. Genius!

Never chip another nail!

During the fifties, Stratton compacts were made to hold loose powder, and contained an adorable little sifter to hold in the powder.

That's right poodles! Don't upset your MEN
 with your new compact! HA!

Later in the fifties and into the sixties, the compacts became "convertible" and could hold either loose powder or the now more popular pressed powder.

Max Factor Creme Puff is still sold
 AND fits Stratton convertible compacts!

My personal favorite design of compacts came out in the fifties and was continued for about a decade. It was appropriately called Princess. Awww!

A perfect English rose. Pre-tty! 

"Real diamond cut front" Ooooo!

Can you see the Stratton "compact in hand" logo?

In my ebay lot I received three compacts, ranging from the early 50's to the late 60's. Two are the scalloped edged Princess design, and one is a "convertible" design called Queen. The Queen is larger in size to accommodate pans of pressed powder, but still has a sifter for the use of loose powder.

A more spacious compact
fit for a Queen

Stratton compacts through the years

My good friend still has her grandmother's Stratton with leftover powder inside. I never knew, before I saw her Stratton, that compacts could be beautiful as well as functional. I had only ever experienced the generic plastic ones most powders come in today.

There were several companies that produced compacts in the 50s, but Stratton was one of the biggest names. I have a soft spot for Evans compacts too, because that was my Grandpa's name. An Evans compact is next on my wish list. Don't mention it to the husband/budget!

Evans, what a great name! 


The Stratton company is still producing compacts today. For an awesome history on Stratton, or to purchase a new compact or powder puff/sifter for your vintage Stratton, check out Vanroe Compacts. The director, Jane Johnston, has some great tips on how to clean, maintain, and refill vintage compacts.

Personally, I like the feeling I get holding a vintage compact in my hand. Looking in the mirror and imagining the other face that once looked back. She could be a socialite, or a housewife. A young starlet, or a major Hollywood star. One thing is for sure; her Stratton must have made her feel as beautiful and unique as the compact itself.

I hope my man doesn't see!
He detests me powdering my nose!


Anyhoo... Where was I? Oh yeah, vintage compacts. If you find one you love, buy it! Don't procrastinate. Even if you never use it, and it just sits on your vanity or desk, it will still bring an element of glamour into everyday life.

Toodles Poodles!


  1. I love the historical aspects of your blog.

  2. Completely agreed on compacts. Completely. See for yourself...