June 17, 2008 by admin
So who invented the curling iron? You will find many references to “invented” and “patented by” or “introduced by”. The original inventor is lost in the mists of time but this much I have found out…
In 1866, Hiram Maxim applied for and obtained the first of many patents at age 26 for a hair curling iron. He also has a machine gun bearing his name.
Hiram Maxim 1840-1916.
Four years later, two Frenchmen, Maurice Lentheric and Marcel Grateau, used hot-air drying and heated curling tongs to make long-lasting Marcel waves. Twenty years later, Alexandre F. Godefroy, a French hairdresser, invented the hair dryer, composed of a bonnet attached to a flexible chimney that extended to a gas stove.
In 1905, Sarah Breedlove Walker created a cosmetic industry in Indianapolis, Indiana. She became the first African-American female millionaire in America after inventing a method for straightening hair using emollient creams and hot combs. In 1906, Charles L. Nessler, a German hairdresser working in London, applied a borax paste and curled hair with an iron to make the first permanent waves. This expensive process took a long twelve hours. Eight years later, Eugene Sutter adapted the method by designing a dryer that contained twenty heaters to do the job of waving more efficiently. Following Sutter was Gaston Boudou, who modified Sutter’s dryer and invented an automatic roller. By 1920, Rambaud, a Paris beautician, had perfected a system of curling and drying permed hair for softer, looser curls by using an electric hot-air dryer, an innovation of the period made by the Racine Universal Motor Company of Racine, Wisconsin.
This antique electric curling iron has wooden handles and was made to plug into a light socket.
This is an antique curling iron and crimper thought to be early 20th Century.
Antique Victorian curling iron.
This is a hair curling iron with a beaded silver handle. It was made by Mulholland Bros. Inc. in Aurora IL. active between 1915-1932.
These irons were generally heated over a kerosene lamp then rolling a small tuft of hair in it to set the hair.
The red one is made by Duro and has a push button to turn it on, neither the black or brown one has a name.
Early Hair tongs.
Till next time Good Luck,