26 March 2012


Domestic hairdryers originate from the 1920s, but didn't take off until after WWII. This Ormond E1022 dates from the 1950s, and was made by the Ormond Engineering Company of Clerkenwell, London, who also manufactured radio components. Upmarket versions came in a Bakelite vanity case, complete with mirror and comb.

The hairdryer is made from compression-moulded phenol formaldehyde. These polymers were invented by Belgian chemist Leo Baekeland, from whence comes the name Bakelite - phenol formaldehyde mixed with a wood flour filler. Urea can be substituted for the phenol, which produces a cream-coloured polymer, in which the Ormond was also available.

1 comment:

abijsmith said...

This is fabulous! I would like to have one of these!