by Jim Gerrish
P.O. Box 131
East Orange, N.J. (before Zip Codes)
In April of 2015, I was contacted by Keith A.
Klink of Lawrenceburg, KY regarding some interesting historic
documents he had found relating to one "Madame Desno"
who operated a women's health business in East Orange in the
This was a time that American women everywhere
were talking about "Women's Suffrage" and women's
rights in general. Women were also beginning to seek information
about various forms of contraception (about which it was illegal
to talk or write in those days).
At this point, we know nothing about Madame
Desno, or Mrs. A. Desno, except that she lived and worked in East
Orange, NJ in the general area that was known as Central Block.
Madame Desno probably answered an advertisement
like the one above, shown and outlined in red, in the 1908
edition of Physical Culture. She became a "Ladies'
Agent" for a similar product called "The Perfect French
Supporter, A Boon to Womankind."