Return to site

Curling Iron dangers

The past was full of fire and burns

Through the exciting journey of discovery, I have learned that the past was a dangerous time to operate a curling iron.

I have discovered numerous little news snippets from in reference to these tragedies. I would like to share a few of these here.

"Fatal Accident.--On Monday noon last, as Miss Harriet Koonce, residing with her mother on George street, in this city, while lifting a curling iron from the fire, fainted, fell, and was badly burned. She died from her injuries on Wednesday morning, about 6 A. M. Miss K was about 16 years of age."

-(12 Mar 1864, Sat). The New Berne Times, New Bern, NC, US, page 2

"A young lady in Muscatine, Iowa, while making her toilette the other evening, set fire to her "chignon," with a curling iron. The presence of mind of her sister, who threw a blanket over her head, prevented fatal results."

-(01 May 1872, Wed.). The Weekly Marysville Tribune, Marysville, OH, US, page 4

"An English jury fined a barber a dollar for using a red-hot curling iron on a lady's coiffure."

-(10 Dec 1873, Wed.). The Indianapolis News, Indianapolis, IN, US, page 2

"Accident: Miss Jennie M. Young, of Beaver, Pa., now of the State Normal, accidentally ran the point of a hot curling iron into her eye on Wednesday morning. For a time the injury was very painful, and her sight was threatened; but we are glad to say this danger now seems to be averted."

-(05 July 1880, Sat.). The Inquirer, Lancaster, PA, US, page 2

"Beware of the "Curling Iron." -Special to the Herald.- Lincoln, Nebraska, July 5.--Yesterday, a young lady was burned to death while heating a curling iron by a coal oil lamp. Her mother and sister were terribly burned while attempting to save her."

-(05 July 1882, Wed.). Evening Herald, Fort Scott, KS, US, page 1

"Lincoln, Neb., July 5.--A sad and perhaps fatal accident by fire occured her yesterday, the victims being two young ladies, Emma and Sallie See aged respectively 18 and 13. The young girls had dressed themselves in holiday attire, when the younger of the two attempted to heat a curling-iron over a kerosene lamp. Somehow the fire communicated with her clothing, and in an instant she was enveloped in flame. The other sister, in attempting to extinguish the fire, was herself overpowered by the flame, and the two girls, writhing in awful agony, rushed into the street. Their screams attracted the attention of passers-by, who put out the fire and carried the fainting girls into the house. Medical aid was summoned at once. It is thought that the eldest of the girls will die, and perhaps the younger. Both are horribly burned. The mother of the unfortunate girls and another daughter, also a young lady received slight burns while trying to put out the fire."

-(07 July 1882,Fri.). The Kansas Daily Tribune, Lawrence, KS, US, page 2

"The Crown Princess Stephanie of Austria nearly burnt one of her eyes out the other day by the careless handling of an over heated curling iron."

-(29 Jan 1888, Sun.). Quad-City Times, Davenport, IA, US, page 2

"Danger of a Curling Iron. -Philadelphia, April 14-- Miss Helen Foster, while preparing for a social event, was engaged in curling her hair by means of an almost redhot pencil. Slipping from her fingers, the pencil fell down her back, where it was held by her garments. Before it could be removed it proved to be a terrible agent of injury. Her back had been seared into rows of red, ugly looking blisters from her shoulders to the waist, as though she had been grid-ironed. She suffered intense pain."

-(14 Apr 1888, Sat.). Oakland Tribune, Oakland, CA, US, page 5

"--It probably has never entered the minds of the many ladies who are slaves to the curling iron that the innocent little thing which adds so much attractiveness to their heads may sometimes prove treacherous. Last week a young lady of Benton Harbor, Mich., was frizzing her hair when the hot curling iron turned and burned one of her eyes so severely that the sight may be lost."

-(21 Dec 1889, Sat.). The South Bend Tribune, South Bend, IN, US, Page 5

"While curling her hair, Miss Mary Miles, daughter of Auditor John W. Miles, one of the prettiest young ladies of Marion, accidentally drew a hot curling iron across her eyes, scarring the eyes. The sight of the eyes is undoubtedly destroyed."

-(02 Jan 1890, Thu.). Jackson County Banner, Brownstown , IN, US, page 2

"A Sad Accident. -Marion, Ind,. Dec. 26 -- Miss Mary Miles, daughter of Auditor John W. Miles, while curling her hair Wednesday accidentally drew a hot curling iron across her eye, searing the iris. The sight of the eye is undoubtedly destroyed."

-(01 Jan 1890, Wed.). The Belvidere Standard, Belvidere, IL, US, page 6

"The curling iron seems to be making an effort to secure a record for maiming people, or the gentler sex at least, along with the revolver that goes off when it "isn't loaded." One of the prettiest young ladies of Marion, Ind., has destroyed one of her eyes by accidentally burning with the point of her curling iron."

-(03 Jan 1890, Fri.). The Weekly Palladium, Benton Harbor, MI, US, page 2

"-Miss Lora Requa, daughter of County Treasurer Requa, had the misfortune last Thursday morning to badly injure her eye with a hot curling iron. It was feared that she would lose the eye at first but the doctor is now in hopes of saving it."

-(19 Mar 1890, Wed.). Mower County Transcript, Lansing, MI, US, page 5

"A Treacherous Lamp..... Barbara Full, a servant in the house of Mr. Well, 948 Jefferson street, was curling her hair yesterday afternoon, and had been heating the curling iron over a lamp. The lamp exploded and the girl was soon a sheet of flames. Her cries brought help and the fire was put out, but not before Barbara had been incredibly burned from the waist up to the nose. Dr. Wegal was called. He expresses hope of her recovery."

-(21 Mar 1890, Fri.). The Buffalo Times, Buffalo, NY, US, page 1

"While Curling Her Hair.....Buffalo, March 21.--A young German woman, while curling her hair here last night, held a curling iron over a kerosene lamp. From the heat the lamp exploded, terribly burning the woman from the waist to the neck. In running from one room to another she set fire to the building she was in.

-(21 Mar 1890, Fri.). The Journal, Meridan, CT, US, page 1

"A Woman In Flames.... Erie, Pa., Sept. 26.--Mrs. J. K. McConnell, a leading society lady, was frightfully burned while preparing for a party. She had cleaned a pair of kid gloves with benzine and then struck a match to light the gas for warming the curling iron. In an instant she was in flames. Although prompt assistance arrived the lady's clothes were burned off from her waist up. She was frenzied with pain, and is thought to be fatally injured."

-(26 Sep 1890, Fri.). Tyrone Daily Herald, Tyrone, PA, US, page 1

"A curling iron besides being an instrument of service can also become the cause of dire disaster. A young lady of this city carelessly laid one too hot for use on her dresser, leaving the room a few minutes. On her return she found her handkerchief case on fire, as well as the dresser scarf and a hole burnt in a valuable lace collar. The fire also dropped down in an open drawer and created havoc with the brushes and combs before it was extinguished."

-(28 Feb 1891, Sat.). The Wichita Beacon, Wichita, KS, US, page 3

"Miss Daisy Wasbers, of East Church avenue, while using a hot curling iron yesterday let it slip and burnt her forehead severely."

-(18 Jun 1891, Thu.). The Gazette, York, PA, US, page 1


Be careful out there when you use your curling irons.