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Women in History of Scots Descent
Elizabeth Arden


(Florence Nightingale Graham)
beautician, business executive
Born: 1878
Birthplace: Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada
Died: 1966

She opened her first beauty salon in New York in 1907, forming the cornerstone of an international empire of salons, beauty products, and chic image. Elizabeth was a Canadian Scot. Arden and her rival, Helena Rubinstein, made cosmetics acceptable to “respectable” American women. Under the name Elizabeth Graham, from the 1930s–early 1960s she ran the Maine Chance Stables in Kentucky where the 1947 Kentucky Derby winner was bred.

Canadian-born Elizabeth Arden trained as a nurse. Seeking a new career, she went to New York in 1908 and was hired as a bookkeeper for the Squibb Pharmaceutical Company. Intrigued with the research and product development being done at Squibb laboratories, she was encouraged to combine this interest with her knowledge of nursing. This led to a job mixing and applying facial treatments in a beauty salon. Two years later, she opened her own salon on New York's fashionable Fifth Avenue. During the following decades, she continued opening salons throughout the world. A true innovator in product development, sales promotion, and packaging, Miss Arden continued to introduce women to her remarkably effective skin care formulations and trend setting make up until her death in 1966.


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