Thursday, December 23, 2010

British hairdryer set world record

An 80-year-old electric hairdryer, made by a Siemens branch in Britain, remains in perfect working order and, according to its owner, retired insurance company director John Wilcox, it has never broken down or even needed a service - setting the world record for the Oldest working electric hairdryer.
Weighing a hefty 2lb the dryer's only controls are on/off and hot/cold. It came with a Bakelite carry-case – now slightly cracked – complete with a vanity mirror.

The brown Bakelite item's only concession to technological advances has been a new plug – and only then because its original round-pin type became obsolete.

Though Siemens is a German firm, according to the engineering history website Grace's Guide, it established Siemens Electric Lamps and Supplies Ltd in Britain in 1931 to manufacture domestic appliances such as this dryer.

Mr Wilcox, 83, from Paignton, Devon, recalls watching his mother Florrie use it at the family home in Birmingham, 70 years ago.

Portraits of Florrie, spanning five decades, show her sporting a variety of hairstyles.

His wife Kay, 73, who is a hairstylist, says the portraits indicate when the machine arrived in the household.


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