Monday, October 10, 2016

Documentation: Simeon's Lead Comb

As those of you who have read A Buss from Lafayette know, a Simeon's Lead Comb plays an important role in the story.  I originally learned about it in an old Sturbridge Village publication about 19th century general stores, but recently I came across the original source of that information. Here it is:

Comb making was introduced in town about 1780, by Simeon Carpenter, and continued by him until 1815. . . These combs were made from horn, bone, ivory, tin and lead. 

Deacon Leland remarks, "Mr. Carpenter says that there was a belief that red hair combed daily with a lead comb would become black; and many people, male and female, have directed him to make them for the purpose of getting rid of a carrotty top."

-History of the Town of Sutton, Massachusetts, from 1704 to 1876