June 2, 2018

Icall 1934 Wireless Permanent Waving Machine

Wireless permanent-waving machine introduced in 1934 by Icall Limited to satisfy a demand for a machine in which there was no direct connection to electricity when the heaters were applied. Because such heaters started cooling as soon as they were applied to the hair, they were bulkier so as to provide a greater heat sink. Even so, timing had to be longer because of the cooling of the heater and waves tended to be softer.


Despite appearances, this is not some kind of torture device—although may have caused women to suffer for fashion. This is a permanent wave machine. With the combination of a reagent on the hair and the addition of heat through the top of the device (known as the “chandelier”), this machine would create a stylish wave.

First, a proprietary alkaline reagent would be applied to the hair. Each beautician would create their own special blend, determined by their own experience, as well as the type of hair and style desired.

Sections of hair would then be wrapped around one of the metal coils and clamped into place and the electric machine would add heat to the hair, setting the wave in place.


By the time World War II had ended, these strange-looking perm machines were a rarity, and women no longer had to experience the indignity of looking like anthropomorphic hedgehogs suspended, marionette-style, by strings.

(via Wikipedia and Hennepin History Museum Blog)






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