Thursday, June 10, 2010

Vintage Thingies Thursday: The Marcelwaver

If you missed the two previous Vintage Thingies Thursday posts about 1920s clothing and other vintage fashion and textiles, click here for week one, and here for week two.

This is the final set of photos from my Lacis adventure(for more, see my Flickr account) that I am sharing with you as part of Vintage Thingies Thursday.  I was delighted to find an original Marcelwaver hot iron that made the 1920s woman with bobbed hair a set of picture-perfect undulating waves, known first as "undulation marcel" and later as "marcel waves". Suffice to say that along with bobby pins and the permanent wave this invention revolutionized women's hairstyles in the 1920s:

The Marcelwaver

"Marcelwaver gives you a natural wave -- done in your own boudoir -- in 12 minutes --
at a cost less than 2c -- and brings out your best individual charm"

If you are interested you can do a little web searching to find out more about the history of this iron, invented in 1875 by Marcel Grateau, and also take a look at the numerous books (such as the well-known Vintage Hairstyling), and web sites devoted to 1920s and 1930s hairstyling should you be interested in making your own set of waves.  I was charmed by the set of photos included with the hot iron to help the home hairstylist create her hairdo:

The Marcelwaver brings us to the end of this three-part Vintage Thingies Thursday series.  I hope that you enjoyed it, and don't forget to check some of the other great VTT posts on Coloradolady's blog!


  1. Oh, I enjoyed this very much!! I can barely curl my hair with a electric curling iron, hard to imagine having to use one of these!!! Love the brochure that goes with it, really neat!! Have a great VTT!

  2. Wonderful! Imagine having to use that. Sometimes I feel lucky having curly hair!

  3. I how interesting this is. I am not familiar with that iron. I have one of the newer versions, but do not use it. I tend to burn my head or hair.

  4. How fun, love this! My mother didn't have one of those (that I know of - but I remember the words Marcel waves for some reason???) but she did have big clips to make waves in her hair.

    Thanks so much for sharing this!

    Happy Friday,

  5. Hi Collette,

    I wonder how many women burnt their hair back then... ;)

    Thanks for sharing!


  6. One thing hasn't changed, the advertisements always make it look so easy! What a great find.

  7. this is so wonderful! it reminds me of that line from an annie lennox song: "when you're seen anywhere with your hat off,
    wear a Marcel wave in your hair..."

    enjoy your great find!

  8. When I was a little girl, we had a neighbor who had one of these. She wanted to practice on my hair and Wow, was my Mom upset when I can home with burned hair.

  9. I was always intrigued by how the women used to have this hairdo and I wondered how they did it. Now I can see! Nice and scarey!


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