Salem woman helped support herself making human hair jewelry

Robert Hundley
1880 Salem City Directory advertisement for Mrs. J.W. Weatherford’s business – making jewelry out of human hair.

I appreciate city directories. Like cellular phone books prior to there had been telephones, these alphabetical listings of individuals residing inside of the metropolis are treasure troves of historical data.

A person unique advertisement in the 1880 Salem City Directory caught my eye lately. In elegant script with floral gildings Mrs. J.W. Weatherford marketed herself as: “Manufacturer of HAIR Jewelry of every fashion and variety. Center Road, bet. Commercial and Entrance, Salem, OR.”

While existing Google Queries of the expression “Hair Jewelry” may possibly convey up the most recent choices in hair accessories — barrettes, headbands, etcetera., the solution marketed here by Mrs. Weatherford is much more most likely the Victorian trend of producing jewellery out of human hair.

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