Fact File about the Invention of the Hot Comb: Invention: Hot Comb *** Date of Invention: 1872 *** Name of Inventor: Francois Marcel Grateau *** Lifespan of Inventor:
1852 - 1936 *** Nationality of Inventor: French *** Historical Period: Second US Industrial Revolution / Victorian (1850 - 1914) *** Category: Household Items *** Country of Origin: France *** Facts about the Inventor, Francois Marcel Grateau, and the invention of the Hot Comb ***
Fact 1: Who invented the Hot Comb? The Hot Comb was invented by Francois Marcel Grateau
in 1872 during the Second US Industrial Revolution era of inventions (1850 -
Fact 2: Who invented the Hot Comb? The means to curling hair dates back
to Ancient Rome when the Romans used the calamistrum curling iron which was
heated and used to create curly hair styles for men and women.
Fact 3: Who invented the Hot Comb? During the Middle Ages and the
Renaissance period women traditionally wore their hair long, loose as a young
girl and then pulled back, plaited or braided. The 1700's witnessed the fashion
of wearing extravagantly decorated white-powdered wigs.
Fact 4: Who invented the Hot Comb? During the puritanical Victorian Era
(1850 - 1914) women wore demure, hairstyles using oil to smooth their long hair
over the temples with long 'sausage curls' or ringlets at the sides with heavy
knots of curls at the back. Girls and women commonly used hair rags to create
their curls. Using a wet comb wisps of hair were wound tightly on pieces of rag.
The hair rags were left in overnight and pulled out in the morning to create the
Fact 5: Who invented the Hot Comb? Archaeological discoveries in Egypt in
the late 1800s provided inspiration for new fashions, jewelry and hairstyles
that were once worn by Ancient Egyptian women. A French hair stylist called
Francois Marcel Grateau invented a hot comb in his Paris salon to re-create a
fine straight look reflecting the hairstyles of famous Ancient Egyptian women.
Fact 6: Who invented the Hot Comb? The inventor of the Hot Comb, Francois Marcel Grateau, was born on October 17,
1852 in Paris, France and died on June 15, 1936.
Fact 5: Who invented the Hot Comb? The early years of Francois Marcel Grateau were spent in Paris, France where he was raised by his family. Francois Marcel Grateau
received a basic education and did not undertake higher education at a University
Fact 6: Who invented the Hot Comb? Following his education he began
working in the salons of Paris that were frequented by ladies of dubious
professions and attained the skills of a hair stylist.
Fact 7: Who invented the Hot Comb? The ambitious Francois Marcel Grateau
opened his own Salon in Paris and was determined to make it the most fashionable
place to go and to ultimately attract high profile and high paying women.
Fact 8: Who invented the Hot Comb? Francois Marcel Grateau achieved his
ambition due to his invention of the Hot Comb in 1872. The young hairstylist was
well aware of the growing interest in all things Egyptian and wanted to create a
woman's hairstyle with waves and curls reflecting those worn in antiquity.
Fact 9: Who invented the Hot Comb? His Curling-iron tool, that would
later become known as the Hot Comb, was used to straighten and curl hair.
Fact 10: Who invented the Hot Comb? The "curling iron " consisted of
heavy tongs with rounded internal surfaces, in which one of the tongs had a
circular convex section and the other tong a concave one, so that one fitted
into the other.
Fact 11: Who invented the Hot Comb? The tongs were then heated over gas
burners and then closed over the hair allowing it to be straightened, curled or
waved. Marcel Grateau commissioned L. Pelleray of Paris with manufacturing the
heated irons in the 1870s and they were exported across the world.
Fact 12: Who invented the Hot Comb? Marcel Grateau's invention became a
great success and allowed to develop new hairstyles including one that was named
after him called "the Marcel wave".
Fact 13: Who invented the Hot Comb? "Marcelling" became all the rage in
Paris and Grateau's salon became one of the most successful salons in France.
The Marcel Grateau "curling iron" could only be used by trained stylists due to
the danger of heating the tongs over gas burners and women flocked to his salon
to have the new a stylish wave as another option to curls.
Fact 14: Who invented the Hot Comb? The long-lasting "Marcel wave" stayed
in fashion for nearly 50 years and he patented his Hair-waving iron on September
3, 1918, patent number US 1277739. Francois Marcel Grateau died on June 15, 1936
an extremely wealthy man.
Fact 15: Who invented the Hot Comb? Other inventors went on to invent
new, safer versions of hot combs that could be used at home.
Fact 16: Who invented the Hot Comb? To avoid the cost of having their
hair straightened at a salon women began to use clothes irons to straighten the
hair. Many women used electric irons to straighten their hair right up to the
Fact 17: Who invented the Hot Comb? The famous Black American
entrepreneur Madam C.J. Walker invented a line of African-American hair care
products in 1905 including the world's first hair-straightening formula - but
contrary to popular belief she did not invent the hot comb.
Fact 18: Who invented the Hot Comb? The Black American inventor Walter
Sammons of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania received U.S. patent number 1,362,823 on
December 21, 1920 for an improved hot comb that straightened hair.
Fact 19: Who invented the Hot Comb? The improved Hot Comb invented by
Walter Sammons had a thermometer housed in the tongs that extended into the
handle so that the user would know how hot the comb had become. The handles were
also insulated to prevent heat being conducted and burning the user.
Fact 20: Who invented the Hot Comb? An electric Hot Comb, called 'Whites
Electric comb' was developed in 1926 by Whites Manufacturing Company in England.
Fact 21: Who invented the Hot Comb? Improvements to various hot comb
designs continued over the years. Hot combs and hair straighteners are still
popular today with the latest designs having digital temperatures and automatic