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About Omaha daily bee. (Omaha [Neb.]) 187?-1922 | View Entire Issue (Feb. 14, 1915)
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Mrs. Davla Preaenta Heraalf at tha Hair Tha Flrat 8tap In tha Proceaa Waa a
Draaaafa to Have tha "Evarlaatlng Thorough Shampooing and Drying of
Wave" Put In Har Half." Har Vary Luxuriant Traaaea.
Distressing Experiences of
Mrs. Alice Davis Who Sought
an "Everlasting Ripple" in
Her Hair and Who Has- Been
Given $500 Damages
Because She Promptly '
Lost Not Only the Ripple but
Her Hair as Well
THREE years ago Mra. Alice Davla.
widow of a wealthy and promi
nent citizen ot Cincinnati, becama
possessed ot desire to own an "ever
lasting wave" In her hair. She acquired
tha "wave" and lost her hair.
Likewise she acquired much experience,
Including three burted apota on her scalp
from which hair will never again grow,
four weeks' Illness, doctors' bills, anguish
and humiliation of aplrlt By way ot con
aolatlon a Jury has awarded her 1500.
which, she aaya, will not pay for the ser
vice of even one of her three lawyers.
The experiences of the wealthy widow
raise several questions of Import to all
women, and, In natural consequence, to
First what is a woman's hair worth to
, Of what relative Importance Is her hair
to the sum of her charms?
Will four weeks' illness, caused chiefly
by her grief of losing her hair, so despoil
a woman of her beauty that ahe will never
again be ao lovely?
What should be the amount of damages
If a fashionable woman la forced to wear
a hat In the evening, when bate are no
If a womin is young and pretty and
enjoys social ' prominence, what la the
actual degree of her suffering if for three
years she has to forego social functions
and has alwaya to sit in the back row
ot the theatre?
These are Important questions to a
amart woman, and It greatly puzzled a
New York Jury that finally found for tha
defendant to the amount of $500.
The Jury, which, by the way, was com
posed ot married men, was out Ave
hours. For most of these hours it waa
evidently divided upon the question of
awarding any damages.
Temperament and tears were among
the witnesses in the case of Mrs. Alice
Davis versus the hair dresser, a promi
nent one In New York. Mrs. Davis
who bad coma from California to
press the suit, turned eloquent and In
dignant brown eyes upon the Jury. It
was noticeable that her small and ahapely
head was covered by a small black vel
vet hat. At the request of the Judge she
removed her hat to ahow the Jury the
extent of the despoliation..
"Your Honor," began pretty and angry
Mrs. Davla being permitted to tell her
atory In her own way. "I have travelled
all the way from California to press this
charge, because, I think, other women
should be warned by my sufferings. 1
bad been foolish enough to believe that a
confirmed ripple, called an everlasting
wave, can be put Into straight hair. Most
women who have straight hair want It to
look curly. I waa ot that number. Be
sides, it any guardian angel of common
sense whispered to me, 'It can't be done,'
I argued back 'It will be a great saving
of time and vitality not to have your hair
curled by irons every morning or to lose
sleep by keeping your hair in torturing
artificial curlers all nig lit.' I made ar
rangement for the orddal by telephone.
"I called up the best known firm in
New York, for safety. My business Judg
ment prompted me to say: 'Do you guar
antee that this will be an everlasting
wave,' 'Yea' was the answer. 'Do you
Omaha 'Sunday Bee Magazinbage
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guarantee that it will do no harm, to my
hair?' I aaked. 'Yes, absolutely came
over the wire. 'How much will tt cost?
I Inquired. 'Thirty-five dollars.' 'How
long will It take?' 'Eight hours.' '
"The next; morning I was there at 1
o'clock to keep my appointment At
once my bair waa thoroughly shampooed
and dried. Then began the torment, prov
ing the old adage that we muat Buffer to
be beautiful. Sitting bolt upright In a
straight-backed chair, I watched the
operator begin his work. "He first
grasped a quantity of hair on top of my
head as though he were going to scalp
me. Then he divided that into eight lit
tle wlspa, taking from what looked like
a collection of surgical Instruments that
atood on a nearby table what resembled
a darning needle, but was thicker, twenty
times thicker I should say. He wrapped
one of the wisps of hair -around the
metal rod. When each one of the eight
wisps had been so treated the upper
part ot my head resembled that of a
grinning pickaninny ot my native Ken
tucky, save In color.
"When this had been done each of the
tightly twisted wlspa waa wrapped round
with a atrip of woollen cloth about an
inch wide that had been taken from a
white aolution in a glass bowl. After
this each wisp was thrust into a little
cylinder ot white paper that reminded
me ot the white wrapping ot a Iamb or ,
mutton chop. One by one the wisps
thus prepared were thrust into a larger
cylinder, about elx inches long and two
In diameter, that looked like a giant
spool. The cylinder bad what looked like
cord wrapped around It, and there was a
little green handle on It I remarked that
it looked like a flatlron with a round, ln
atead of flat bottom. This cylinder was
attached to a battery, the cord banging
from the celling.
"He gathered together at the back ot
my head the same Quantity with, which he
bad begun at the top. That he separated
Into eight wisps and began the treatment
all over In the aame way.
"How long will it take to bake the
hair?" I asked, growing restless.
Trom thirty to forty-five minutes," was
"For each Bet?"
"For each batch of loaves," rejoined
"Ilia Jest was not as Ill-timed and In
appropriate as it seemed. I began tb feel
like a loaf of bread In an oven. Remem-.
ber that I had to alt continuously on the
stiff-backed chair. Had I moved I would
have disconnected with the electricity
and the baking would have been inter,
rupted. Fancy what would happen It you
put a panful of bread Into an oven and
took it out when It waa but half 4one.
Such catastrophe must not befall my
hair. So I sat on and on, though perspi
ration burst front my face and my breath
ca-ne in gasps from utter weariness.
"When the first set of "waves' was
baked the cylinders were removed and
the second lot of hair thrust Into them.
When the second lot waa done the bak
ing waa continued with the third. And
so on until half paat sir.
"I began to suffer from a frightful
headache. Complaining of it, I was told
that the firm would aend for a luncheon
for me. which it did. but sitting as
stiffly aa I would in a atraltjacket I
had Utile appetite. Twice there was a
distinct Impression that my scalp was
burning la spots. I screamed in my
. 1 'I 11 1"! U'" I' I 'I I k II 17 "' ':'
What Happened to Mrs. Davis's
Then the Operator Divided Her Hair In
to Little Wlapa and Wrapped Each
Tightly Around a Little Metal Rod.
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A Photograph of Mra. Alice) Davit Taken Before the Tragic Episode of the "Everlasting Wave." Her
Hair, It la Plain, Waa Then Extremely Abundant
fright. The operator turned a blast of
cold air from a drying funnel on my head.
But any one who knows the rudiments of
first aid to the Injured knows that this
Is exactly what not to do for a burn.
"In great distress I said, 'Send at once
for some one in authority.' A man en
tered. I did not know at the time who be
was, but when I saw htm on the witness
stand I knew he was the head of the
"'Is it true that you guarantee that
this baking will not destroy the life of
the balrf' I demanded.
" 'We absolutely guarantee that It will
not harm the vitality ot the hair,' be an
swered. "Slightly soothed, but with teara of
fright and nervousness flowing over my
face, I continued the aeance of torture.
"My scalp felt as though It were on
, fire. My nerves tingled in a tumult of
pain. The chair became a Beat of tor
ture. Quite frankly I confess that 1 went
lato hysterics the last hour ot the long '
operation. I waa at the point of scream
ing. By half past six I old scream from
the pain of my tortured bead. When the
last ot the wisps were taken cut of the
novrlsbt ltlt.'by'the Star ComuaoyT
Hair as She Described It to the Court.
Then Each of the Tightly Twitted I Wlapa
Was Wrapped In Saturated Cloth
and Enclosed In Paper Cylinder
torture oven I would not wait to have my
hair dressed. Thrusting my hair into my
hat and wrapping a veil around my head
I hurried home.
"When I had rested an hour I deter
mined to go to a ball. It waa one to
which I had looked forward for a long
time. All the people I knew were to be
there. I got up trom my bed and started
to do my hair.
"As I tried to comb It it literally broke
oft la toy lingers. Masses of It fell to the
Boor. My hair, which bad been my best
point fine and light and wonderfully
thick, was thirty inches long. It broke
off one Inch trom my bead. Strand after
strand as I touched It It fell to the floor.
Every stroke ot the brush brought out
masses of It Frantically I kept on. When
1 had finished three tiny wisps that bad
Swmehow eacaped the destroyer re
mained. They but accentuated my de
plorable appearance. I burst Into teara.
"My sister, trying to comfort me,
begged mo to go to the balL 'Without
hairT I walled. 'Put on your silver cap,'
ahe aald. The little caps were fashionable
atthe time. She thrust my poor hair,
"UrsatBriUIn Rights Reserve V
Each of JTheM L;";?
In a Metal J Cylln der tha Electric ty
Turned en and the Hair mk.
now only one inch long, and the three
pitiful strand relics, into the cap. She
pinned a rose into the cap. Ticking up
aome of the hair that had fallen to the
floor I desperately pasted it around my
"I went to the ball. I tried to forget
my trouble by dancing a few times. But
in the midst of the ball I fainted and was
' "For four weeks I was ill, confined to
my bed. My physician l)as since said
that he never saw anything at once so
romlc and pathetic In his life. 'I had
thought you a pretty woman.' he said.
'As you lay there you aeemed to ah rink
a few Inches every day. After a while
you looked all eyes and ears '
"I recovered slowly from the shock, so
slowly that for a year I jived a life as
secluded as in my first twelve months of
widowhood. But for a far different rea
son. This time I was ashamed to be
"When I began going out again my hu
miliation was great For instance, I al
ways liked to alt In a box or at least In
the front row of a theatre. I had to sit
to a back row becauae I bad to wear a
And When She Came to
Qff Mh frfn H
Dress for thj
bat to oover the wreck ot what bad tJeet
my beautiful hair. Had I sat nearer tha
stage an usher or a neighbor would have
demanded the removal of my bat And I
would have beea laughed at becauae my
wig was crooked or my transformatlaa
had slipped. '
"After a while I stopped wearing the
wig because it heated my bead and
caused worse headaches.
"Then my mental suffering was greater
than ever. A light thatch ot hair like the
down on a duckling was beginning to
grow, but only sparsely, as It were, In
patches. I suffered grievously from re
marks I overheard regarding my appear
ance. "'Pretty woman, said some one at a
restaurant "but look at her hair. I'll lay
you a box of gloves she is Just out ot an
Insane asylum. Shave their hair there,
After having recited what she told the
court, as In the foregoing, Mrs. Davis con
tinued to a representative ot this news
"I sued the hair dresser for 126,000. I
based my claim upon themore than
15,000 that I had expended on dally mas
sage to soothe, and electrical treatments
to stimulate, my poor scalp; for the
wigs and transformations I had to buy,
and the caps to conceal my dreadful
cranial condition. Also for the fees ot
my lawyers. The 120,000 I claimed was
some compensation for the mental an
guish I had endured. I was not, how
ever, disappointed at the verdict, oecause
I have all the mone? I want I won what
X wanted, a moral victory. I was able
through my case to ware other women
against repeating my mistake.
"My story has a double moral. The'
first Is, 'Use the -measuring rule of your
Common sense when reading an advsr
: tliement Ask yourself whether the
claims . made are probable.' Second,
'Never use a curling Iron on your hair. If
God hasn't given you a wave In your hair
make the most ot your straight tresses
"I am going back to San Jose, Cal., to
watch ever, my little daughter's educa
tion. I 'go in penitence and In triumph.
Women, suffering, I salute and warn'
There is., of course, another aide to
every picture, -and this 1b the explanation
the hair dresser made:- .
"I have bad 8,000 everlasting waves la
five years. No one Is Infallible! There
have been a tew failures. At most one
per cent. But they have been in cases
in which the hair has been often dyed
or bleached, or both. Mrs. Davis did not
tell us her hair had been dyed. ' We
knew It had been bloached because we
could tell at a glance. There is no nat
ural yellow bair. Light hair has a drab
tint. Following my instructions, our
operator warned her that since her hair!
had been devitalized by bleaching we
could not guarantee that it would not
fall out in the treatment. SHe said, 'Go
ahead.' I know she denied this on the
stand, but It was a question ot veracity
between us. We charged her fifty dol
lars because of the poor' condition of her
"The day after ahe won her ault four
customers came in for an everlasting
wave. We asked them whether they were
not frightened. They all laughingly re
plied that they were not One of these
waa a customer who baa had an ever
lasting wave put into her hair seven
times In two years."
"But why so often If It Is everlasting?"
"Because we cannot prevent the hair
growing out and the everlasting wave
moving down toward the enda of the
hair. It is on top of the head that the
wave shows most and the effect most de.
sired is secured. Therefore my customers
wish to have it done over and over. We
guarantee that in normal conditions it
will last six months.
"The electricity is not applied directly
,to the scalp. It la only uaed in heating
the lrona. Besides, the hair is not waved
nearer than an inch from the scalp. And
we slip over the wlap of hair aa protec
tion a flbroli disk that will not burn.
"Since this womst. has caused the
trouble we have had printed a slip we
require every customer to sign, assum-'
leg the responsibility themselves la casei
ot accidents. By Improvements wo have
lessened the time ot the operation from
eight and a halt to three and a bait