Bizarre Beauty Tools You Never Knew Existed #1
Dr. Scott’s Electric Hair Brush
Hucksters and Quacks were rampant in the Victorian Era as the pursuit for cure-alls for body and beauty were massive cash cows. None more so than Dr. George A. Scott, an Englishman who utilized the public’s fascination with the recent discovery of the powers of electricity to patent a line of “electric hair brushes”. His thermoplastic electric brush made its debut in America in December 1881 in Harper’s Monthly and was proclaimed to treat an assortment of maladies from baldness to headaches, as well several less obvious conditions including rheumatism and even paralysis. The trick to this boar bristle brush is that it wasn’t actually electric at all, but magnetic…featuring a charged magnetic metal rod that run through the center of the brush. Dr. Scott made a fortune off his complete range of “electric” devices before going bust in the late 1890’s after public affinity to magnetic brushes waned.
Thankfully technology today has come a long way thanks to companies like Ergo who use real science to create brushes that still perform small miracles…but rely on ions and ceramic instead of Victorian age science!
- Published in Hair History