Friday, May 3, 2013
Fortunate Finds: the Lady Ellen Pop Up Hair Salon
As a woman who is fascinated by the beauty rituals of yesteryear I happened to pass by a small plastic box at an estate sale. It looked a bit familiar to me, so I opened it up and discovered that I had a Lady Ellen Pop Up Hair Salon in my hands:
This compact little box doesn't look like anything special on the outside, really, but I think this set is a triumph of mid-century design (probably made around the late 1950s or early 1960s or so). This box of hair curlers looks pretty similar to one that my grandmother had, which is why it caught my eye.
When the box is open the graduated curlers are flat. The lid itself contains clear plastic stakes that rest inside of the curlers when the box is closed and not in use. However, if you open the box and place the lid underneath it, the stakes push up hidden pink plastic cylinders:
The internal pink cylinders then push up the stacked set of graduated plastic curlers so they become easier to grab! I love that idea.
Ingenious design, isn't it? The curlers are also color-coded by size. This set would have contained clips to hold the rollers in place but they are missing from this box. (Hair clip design hasn't really changed in the last 60 years. A metal prong clip is the type that would have been used.)
These sets were made by the Kaymar Company in Los Angeles into the early 1970s (as far as I know) with several different designs for the outer case (the designs were colorful and were "flower-power" bright in the late 1960s and 1970s).
Does this set of hair curlers look familiar to you too?