THE INVENTOR OF THE NEW
AND IMPROVED HAIRBRUSH
BY, Chaco Iwase
Lyda Newman did a very important role in the hair care industry by created a tool people still use after 116 years after it was patented. As a private hairdresser for a family in New York she became an inventor for developing a new and improved hairbrush that many women today use in order to keep their hair clean and straight. She was also one of the women who fought for women rights to vote and to participate in an office. Although Lyda Newman was not the first to invent the hairbrush, she invented a more durable and efficient version. Unlike the past brushes the brush had synthetic bristles (brushes back then used animal fur) and can be easily cleaned. Lyda’s hairbrush simply straightens hair and untangles knots. She also put air chambers and synthetic bristles for a benefit of quicker drying instead of boar hair bristles. The hairbrush will straighten your hair, while air chamber breaths when you press down. The bristles have a gap between each other to help clean the brush. Lyda Newman’s version of the hairbrush was patented on November 15, 1898 by the United States Patent Office.
Lyda Newman’s life is not very well known, but a census record shows that she was born in around the year of 1885 in Ohio of the United States of America. In later years it is proven that she was a New York resident and patented a more durable hairbrush in 1898. In her 30’s she was living in an apartment in West Side Manhattan, New York.
The hairbrush has been around for millions of years. Some say that hairbrushes have been around ever since people had hair. The history went back to Ancient Romans, Greeks, and Egyptians. In paintings, portraits, and sculptures there is evidence that people designed and styled hair, which shows that they did need a hairbrush as a styling tool. Also in Egyptian tombs scientists found combs, hairbrushes, and mirrors. These brushes were made from natural materials such as animal hair, bones, wood, copper, and bronze. As well as Ancient Romans, Greeks, and Egyptians there are several documents that Vikings used brushes to care for their hair. In 1777, William Kent began making handmade brushes in England. For his handmade bristle brushes they need 12 people to make 1 single brush. In 1885 Mason Pearson invented an automatic hairbrush-making machine and in that same year he made a rubber cushioned brush. Hugh Rock featured a metal handle and an ornamental design with scalloped edges that were popular for brides and babies in 1854. In 1870 Samuel Firey patented an elastic wire teeth and natural bristle hairbrush. Finally in 1898 Lyda Newman patented her comb. One theory of how hairbrushes came to be is that paintbrushes that were made 2.5 million years ago evolved to the hairbrush.
Lyda Newman’s hairbrush made caring for hair easier and simpler. If Lyda did not decide to invent the improved hairbrush, our hair might have not been as good quality and not straight. Although someone besides Lyda could have made the hairbrush they might have not included synthetic bristles, an air chamber, and all the unique features of her version of the hairbrush. Besides the reason of uniqueness of the brush, nobody would want to go to school or work with tangled hair all over the place. This is when Lyda Newman gets much of the credit for making people have straight, untangled, and clean hair. People who are obsessed with having nice hair and has Lyda’s version of the brush (For example, my sister who brushes her hair 1,000,000 times a day) should thank Lyda Newman. Lyda Newman accomplished many things during her lifetime.
One important accomplishment is how she created an invention most people use everyday: the improved hairbrush. This invention had unique characteristics no other hairbrush had before; it had synthetic bristles, an air chamber, and other features. Another accomplishment she made was that all the...
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