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Back Comb

TitleBack Comb
Object NameBack Comb
Manufactured ByUnited Comb and Novelty
DescriptionFaux tortoiseshell back comb with three prongs and embedded with green stone or glass.
Date Manufactured1890-1950
MaterialCellulose Nitrate
Manufacturing ProcessHair combs were made from celluloid sheets cut with a blanking press into comb-shaped blanks that were then worked and shaped by machine and hand to make finished products. Cellulose nitrate could be colored or patterned to imitate many materials, as in this case with tortoise shell. “Teeth were formed either by cutting out the waste material between, or in a “twinning” procedure more economical of material, by cutting a wide zigzag down the middle of a double blank that separated to form two combs.” Jeffrey Meikle, American Plastic, p. 24
Number of Objects1
Accession Number2003.573
DonorGift of National Plastics Center.
Broad SubjectClothing, Jewelry and Accessories
SubjectsHair combs
For More InformationPlease address inquires to the Public Services Librarian, Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Library (e-mail:, tel. 315-443-2697).
RightsPublication of images from the Special Collections Research Center is subject to approval and fees may be charged for such use. Publication includes the following media: print, electronic/digital, videotape, film, or microfilm. Permission to use images must be obtained in advance and in writing from the Special Collections Research Center by writing to or going to . These fees are separate from any which might be assigned/assessed by the copyright holder.
staff notesNegligible Sweating


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