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Jade Small
Jade Small
January 8, 2024 ·  2 min read

Do You Know What This Is? Only One In 10,000 People Do!

History is fun! Looking back at old pictures of yesteryear can either be nostalgic or quite educational – depending on how old you are. If you are anything like me, you love learning about things that happened before your time. Better yet, learning about cool gadgets, awesome inventions, and odd appliances is always such an eye-opener. We honestly really do take for granted just how awesome modern technology actually is. Recently, we came across a picture of something super strange-looking. Take a guess, do you know what this is?

But, before we get into what that thing is…Do you know what this is?

Back in the 20s and 30s, there were many wonderful inventions. The pioneers of what we use today created wonderful first attempts. Without them, we would not have many of the wonderful gadgets and tech products we know and love and use sometimes daily. For example, this interesting-looking contraption – do you know what this is?

So, do you know what this is? Any guesses? According to the website, Secret Life of Mom, the image above is of a vacuum cleaner! And it hails from the 1930s!

The Hercules Vacuum cleaner was a very stylish and sophisticated machine back then. The one pictured above was covered in crocodile skin, making it quite an expensive purchase. What made it even more of a luxurious item is that it was sold during the great depression – a time when many families were not even able to make ends meet, let alone by a Hercules.”

Secret Life of Mom

Let’s get back to that odd-looking contraption – do you know what this is?

the permanent wave machine

At first glance, I honestly had no idea what the strange-looking device pictured above was. Turns out, it is a wave machine! What is a machine, you may ask? Well, it is none other than a device used to perm your hair!

The first U.S. patent for a permanent wave machine was given to Marjorie Joyner in 1928. Joyner, an African-American woman who graduated from a predominantly Caucasian beauty school, lived in Chicago and owned a beauty salon. While cooking dinner one night, Joyner unknowingly came upon a way of improving Charles Nestle’s design. Looking at the rods that went inside her pot roast, she realized heating from the inside out would be a great way to curl or straighten a woman’s hair. After spending several years perfecting her idea, which consisted of wires hanging from a hood with rods that were heated via electricity, Joyner obtained her patent, making her the first female African-American to do so.
In 1928, Marjorie Joyner Invented The Permanent Waving Machine. Here Is  What Inspired Her | Black Then

Thank goodness for modern technology!

Thankfully, we do not have to subject ourselves to half a day inside a hair salon just for a perm that would probably fry our hair anyway! Say thank you to your hairdresser next time you get your hair done! Maybe even show him or her this picture and ask them: ‘Do you know what this is?” If you want to see this contraption in action, take a look at the video below!