Monday, December 15, 2014

The First Perm

Happy History Mondays, everybody! Today we're going to go over one of the most mysterious things in our store;
This machine has captured the imagination and awe of each and every one of us here at City Liquidators. First impressions of it being a medieval torture device by many of our family here has pushed us to delve into the history more and, now that we know, we want to share it with you!

First thing's first, let's take a walk back in time. The year is 1906 on the 8th of October in London, England. A German hairdresser named Karl Nessler (aka Charles Nestle) was demonstrating the first permanent wave for hair in a local beauty salon in front of an audience of well-known hairstylists of his day.

The first person to invent a procedure for curling hair was actually a man named Marcel Grateau. In 1872, he invented a pair of crimping tongs that first had to be heated by a gas flame before being used on hair to create more of a wave than a curl.

Women loved this at first, but then curling became a huge trend and they were looking for other styles and means to execute them. Plus the crimping style only worked on longer hair and styles were getting shorter every year.

Nessler first tried his perming process on his wife, Katharina Laible, in Paris before they were engaged. He burnt her hair and scalp twice, causing her to lose all her hair. Luckily for him, she still said yes and they lived happily ever after with few to no incidents and a lot of patience.

Back to London 1906 at the salon, Nessler was demonstrating the effects of his machine and how it worked (after having it patented, of course). It consisted of a group of rollers, which he wrapped and curled the hair around, connected to a machine that heated them with electricity while keeping the rollers away from the scalp by distributed weights. He then applied caustic soda (sodium hydroxide) and the hair was heated for many hours. The process took 6 hours and then voila! Perfect permed hair! By the time the 1930s rolled around, the system was constantly improved and became this:
So swing by our store, City Liquidators, today and check out this cool piece of history! It may not be for sale, but you're free to check it out while shopping. Enjoy!

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