Monday, December 22, 2014

Some Hair Raising History

When I visit my favorite surplus store I always save one odd corner for last.  It is where they keep really peculiar "one off" items.  The other day they had some antique beauty shop stuff.  Creepy.


The modernish electronics behind it can be safely ignored.  But the scary serpentine tangle of wires and clips is an "Antique Eugene Perm Machine".  It looks as if it would be likely to set your tresses afire.

Here is another odd item.




Very Buck Rogers.  It would fit in well with my recent "Guys in Helmets" post on classic Sci Fi art.


This is an Arnao Scalp Steamer, patent date 1934.  It is a Minneapolis company and I was able to find out a bit about them.  They made a variety of machines, all of them equally scary looking.  Charles C. Arnao (1910-1982) did well enough in the trade to put up an opulent mansion in the tony suburb of Wayzata.

His son, Charles C. Arnao Jr. (1921-1985), did even better.  As an Army Air Corp Second Lieutenant he was the navigator of the B-17 Sequatchiee  when it was shot down in August of 1944.  He did a stint as a POW at Stalag Luft I, then post war joined up with a couple of other veterans to start the Apache Corporation, now a very substantial oil and natural gas producing multinational.

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Addendum.  As a sharp eyed reader has pointed out, a birthdate of 1910 and paternity in 1921 seems a bit of a stretch.  The records at hand were rather mixed up but I should have caught that.  Sifting through census data I think Charles senior was actually born March 11th, 1897 and died September 1st 1978.

4 comments:

mbumgua said...

Father born in 1910 son born in 1921? A father at 11 years old!Possibly the father was born in 1901?

Tacitus2 said...

I thought the ages were off a bit. 1901 quite likely. Typos, not mine this time, do creep into records.

T

Unknown said...

This is my family! My great grandfather and grandfather.

Ana-Elizabeth Arnao said...

This is my family! My great grandfather and grandfather.