Dorothy Gray Compacts History & Heritage

Dorothy Gray Compacts History & Heritage

Without doubt Dorothy Gray compacts are some of the most collectible & eye-catching. During WWI the Company first appeared & its founder was one of those remarkable women who was a pioneer in the cosmetic business. Although today nobody except compact collectors have heard of this lady in her day she was as well known as Helen Rubinstein or Elizabeth Arden. 

She was a farmer’s daughter born on 18th December 1886 in Maine, USA. She was named Dorothy Cloudman. Later on she changed aged 24 years old she changed her name to Dorothy Cloudman Gray.

Her first notable employment in the cosmetics business was working in Elizabeth Arden’s Fifth Avenue Salon. By 1915 she had been sacked as Elizabeth Arden had found out that she was living with a man to whom she was not married.

Fortunately there was a huge demand in America for beauty treatments and so her business flourished.

In 1922 her Company started to manufacture its own preparations. The laboratory was situated on East Fifty Ninth Street manufacturing face creams. Later on rouge & face powder were added to the list of goods produced & eventually in 1924 her first compact was produced.

You can find out more on the history behind this revered vintage brand in our bespoke fact pacts that are supplied with every order from The Vintage Compact Shop - browse Dorothy Gray compacts and accessories here.