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Invention of the Straightening Iron
Transcript of Invention of the Straightening Iron
by Kimberly Seif
The straightening iron, or flat iron, was invented by Lady Jennifer Bell Schofield. She was born in the late 1800s in Scotland. She was a very rich heiress. In her 30's, she got very fascinated with the idea of straightening hair because at this time, most people were still wearing their hair in big, curly, fashions , and she wanted something different. She researched the other experiments, and came up with her own design. It was a very big success.
The flat iron was invented numerous times. It started in 1872, when Erica Feldman used heated metal rods to shape or style hair. During this time, women were using clothing irons to remove unwanted curls from there hair, it was very dangerous. In 1909, development progressed when Isaac K. Shero used two flattened cothing irons that you could press down over your hair. Finally, in 1912, Lady Jennifer Bell Schofield combined the numerous designs of the past and created a hinged, two plated flat heated iron that you would clamp over your hair to make it work.
Developments on the flat iron are still being made all of the time. In the early 1900s flat irons were very dangerous, and could damage your hair easily. Now, there are safer models, better quality materials are being used, and it is a lot quicker and easier to use than it was when it first came out. They even come in different colors and designs.
The Process that allows a flat iron to straighten a person's hair is very easy. The most important thing is the temperature.Today, this is easy to achieve because there are temperature settings, but in 1912, it could be very dangerous because they heated the metal by fire. In everyone's hair, there are hydrogen bonds found in the hair's cortex. These bonds make your hair become curly or wavy. When the heat from the flat iron touches your hair, the hydrogen bonds break down, and this causes your hair to be straight. The reason this is not permanent is because these bonds reform in short time.
How It Works
Very first flat iron made in 1912
The straightening iron was invented numerous times. First, in 1872, Erica Feldman used heated rods used to shape or mold hair. This was modeled after Marcel Grateau's curling iron invented at the same time. During this time most women were using clothing irons to straighten their hair, and it was very dangerous. Developments were made in 1909, when Isaac K. Shero used two heated clothing irons that would press down on you hair from either side. Finally, in 1912, Lady Jennifer Bell Shofield combined all of these designs and created a straightener that was hinged, and had two heated metal plates that would clamp down and straighten your hair.
First Straightening iron invented in 1912
Lady Jennifer Bell Schofield testing out design