Vintage 1940s Home Perm (Torture) Kit

This week I was invited to go to a house clean-out. The property was a 1930s twin house, the woman's grandparents (married in 1913) had lived on one side, her parents (married in the 1940s) lived in the other. The grandparents died in the 1970s and her parents just basically closed off that side of the house, left the grandparent's items in there and just used that side for storage and part of it as an art studio. 
The woman's mother passed several years ago and the father just passed last year, so now she is having both sides cleaned out to sell the house.
We went through the grandparent's side which was mostly 1940-50s items, furniture, clothing, linens etc. Nothing really older than 1930s, which was probably when they moved in, and not much after 1960s. I got a nice load of clothing, dresses and lingerie, some linens and wedding photos from the 1940s. A lot of what I left behind was just all faded and moth eaten from having been neglected for so long. 
We just glanced through the parent's side of the house, the woman is still removing things that she wants. The decor is still 1950-60s, but the clothing looks 1980-90s, so I don't think I'll get much clothes-wise from there. 

From the grandparent's side, I found this cute little suitcase. It turns out that it is an old at-home perm kit, probably from the 1940s. Actually 2 sets of clips, spacers, rollers etc. squeezed into one case. 
I just though that it was pretty cool. 

There are even 3 partial bottles of old perm lotions in there. 

Sears Approved. 

Some of the lotions and booklets. 

It took all of the items below to do one curl/wave.
The 1st piece is felt and rubber with a slit in the middle that you pull the section of hair through down to your roots. 
Next is a metal and rubber spacer that you clip onto the hair at the roots.
Then you roll the hair in the paper onto the metal curler.
Then you clip the whole thing.
All of this would have been so heavy on each curl. 

Each wave/curl on your head would look like this - 

The Sears Booklet and the Ann Barton Booklet that came with each set of clips.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This looks pretty much like a do-it-yourself version of perms I received at the hairdressers in the 1950's. Scary! I absolutely hated having it done and only my mother's threat to put my hair in curlers every night persuaded me that it was probably the lesser of two evils. But evil it certainly was - the curlers were wound down very tight and when the heating clamps were put on their weight and the pulling was dreadful. However, it did give give strong and long-lasting curls and later, when 'cold perms' became readily available, I actually chose to stay with the hot perm because of its better result. I had my last hot perm around 1980 and have often regretted they are no longer available.