The first electric hair dryer was invented in 1888 by French hairstylist Alexandre Godefoy, who then filed the first patent in 1890. Godefoy’s version produced only heat, did not blow air as depicted in the image above and was an extremely large floor-model not suitable for household use.
Some say the first hair blower was a vacuum cleaner combined with another home appliance – the toaster. The idea was to allow the toaster’s element to heat the air within the wooden heating box. The hot air was then sent through the out-take, forcing it through the hose then finally out the nozzle to the locks of wet hair.
With the creation of new hairstyles, the Coiffure needed a way to style and set without blowing away the desired outcome. The hood bonnet (shown above) allowed for air to be slowly buffered through small holes on its inner walls. Hot air gently circulated around the head, drying the hair while maintaining the coif. Home versions soon became available on stands or as table-top models.
The soft-hood bonnets (shown above) were later used in homes by attaching the later model hand-held dryers and are still manufactured today.
The hand-held version wasn’t invented until 1908 by American, Gabriel Kazanjian. By 1915, it was available to those who could afford such luxury; the middle-class consumer. 1920 was the year more affordable models became available for most everyone. Still, the hand-held models were too cumbersome, as they were made mostly of metal parts. Once plastics were introduced, they became lighter and much easier to maneuver.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome wasn’t the only risk. Using the dryers resulted in hundreds of annual electrocutions until significant legislation was set up in the 1970s and again in the 1990s. Dryers were also known to overheat causing fires. Now, due to safety regulations, they are considered a safe appliance to use with very few related deaths occurring.
– altered by Hystoria