Featured Museums and Institutions

Many thanks to organizations featured in our aggregated repository. Below lists featured organizations:

Art Institute of Chicago

The British Museum

Cleveland Museum of Art

Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Minneapolis Institute of Art

The Rijksmuseum

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Smithsonian National Museum of American History

Victoria & Albert Museum

And more!

Secondary Sources for Further Reading

For more reading on this subject, please peruse the resources listed below. Please let us know if you have any suggested sources.

Online Museum

The Creative Museum

Online Exhibits

Masako, Yamamoto & Maezaki Shinya, directors. “Kyoto Boxwood Combs.” (2015). (accessed October 23, 2020).

“The Origins of the Afro Comb.” (accessed October 23, 2020).

Children’s Book

Ebony, Flowers. Hot Comb. Montreal: Drawn and Quarterly, 2019.

Other Literature

Archaeological Analytics. “Celluloid Lice Comb – Eckley, PA.” American Artifacts Blog. Accessed 30 November 2020.

Arriaza, Bernardo, Vivien G. Standen, Jorg Heukelbach, Vicki Cassman, and Felix Olivares. “Head Combs for Delousing in Ancient African Populations: Scratching for the Evidence.” Chungara: Revista De Antropología Chilena 46, no. 4 (2014): 693-706. Accessed October 18, 2020.

Ashby, Steven P. “A History of Combmaking: Biographies of Innovation in Britain, Ireland and Scandinavia.” In Crafts and Social Networks in Viking Towns, edited by Steven P. Ashby and Søren M. Sinbæk, 165-86. Oxford: Oxbow Books, 2020. Accessed October 18, 2020. doi:10.2307/j.ctv138ws19.10.

Ashton, Sally-Ann. “Radical Objects: The Black Fist Afro Comb.” History Workshop. February 10, 2014.

Birley, Barbara. “Stylising the Functional: Wooden Hair Combs from Vindolanda.” In Embracing the Provinces: Society and Material Culture of the Roman Frontier Regions, edited by Ivleve Tatiana, De Bruin Japster, and Driessen Mark, 189-96. Oxford: Oxbow Books, 2018. Accessed October 18, 2020. doi:10.2307/j.ctv13nb8qs.27.

Chaiklin, Martha. “Up in the Hair: Strands of Meaning in Women’s Ornamental Hair Accessories in Early Modern Japan.” In Asian Material Culture, edited by Chaiklin Martha, Hulsbosch Marianne, and Bedford Elizabeth, 37-64. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2009. Accessed October 18, 2020. doi:10.2307/j.ctt46n1dp.6.

“Combs.” Medieval and Renaissance Material Culture.

Cruse, Jen. The Comb: Its History and Development. London: Robert Hale, 2007.

Esposito, Bianca. “The Closet Historian” blog.

“Hairbrushes and Combs That Are Made in the UK.” Ukmade (blog). July 24, 2013.

“Intricate Beauty.” Smithsonian Snapshot. October 15, 2018. Accessed 20 November 2020. 

Johnson, Donald F. “From the Collection: Combing the Roots of Colonialism: Jamaican Tortoiseshell Combs and Social Status, 1655–1692.” Winterthur Portfolio 43, no. 4 (Winter 2009): 313-334.

Lewis, Marva L. “Getting the Parts Straight: The Psychology of Hair Combing Interaction between African-American Mothers and Daughters.” In Black Motherhood(s), edited by Craddock Karen T., 204-20. Bradford, ON: Demeter Press, 2015. Accessed October 18, 2020. doi:10.2307/j.ctt1rrd90f.16.

“Lice, Lice Baby.” MSU Campus Archaeology Program (blog). Michigan State University. February 1, 2018.

Livius. “When Argentinian women wore hair combs four feet wide.” The History Blog (blog). 26 May 2014. Accessed 13 December 2020.

Loewy, Matías A. “Oldest Lice Combs in the Americas Discovered.” Scientific American. August 20, 2015. Accessed 30 November 2020.

Mieri, Magdalena. “Peinetones: High combs, high fashion.” O Say Can You See? Stories from the Museum. National Museum of American History. 5 May 2014. Accessed 13 December 2020.

Morton, Ella. “Some of History’s Most Beautiful Combs Were Made for Lice Removal.”Atlas Obscura. June 21, 2016. Accessed October 23, 2020.

Mumcuoglu, Kosta Y. “The Louse Comb: Past and Present.” American Entomologist 54, iss. 3 (Fall 2008): 164-166. Accessed October 23, 2020.

Oman, Georgia. “A Celluloid Comb.” Doing History in Public (blog). December 2019.

Palma, Ricardo. “Ancient Head Lice on a Wooden Comb from Antinoë, Egypt.” The Journal of Egyptian Archeology. 77: 194. January 1991. Accessed 30 November 2020.

Paterson, C. “The Combs, Ornaments, Weights and Coins.” In Cille Pheadair: A Norse Farmstead and Pictish Burial Cairn in South Uist, by Pearson M. Parker, et. al., 293-336. Oxford: Oxbow Books, 2018. Accessed October 18, 2020.

Payne, Megan. “Hair Combs From Around the World.” Intern@Work (blog). Cortland Public History. Spring 2017.

Peineta (Comb); shaped and pierced tortoiseshell; 2018-41-1. Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum. Accessed 20 November 2020.

Steinburg, Barbara. Hair Combs by Barbara Ann (blog). Barbara Ann’s Hair Comb Blog.

Sherrow, Victoria. Encyclopedia of Hair: A Cultural History. Westport: Greenwood Press, 2006.

Shimeon, Miriam bat. “Wooden Combs.” Miriam’s Middle Eastern Research Blog. Accessed October 23, 2020.

Smith, Ernie. “A Brief History of the Unbreakable Comb.” Atlas Obscura. August 18, 2017. Accessed 30 November 2020.

Turk, Diana B. “What a Hot Comb Can Tell Us about History: Material Culture and the Classroom.” OAH Magazine of History 20, no. 1 (2006): 50-53. Accessed October 18, 2020.

Westmont, V. Camille. “Faux Materials and aspirational identity: Celluloid combs and the working class dreams in the Pennsylvania anthracite region.” Journal of Material Culture. Vol. 25 (1) 93-107. Accessed 30 November 2020.

White, Carolyn L. American Artifacts of Personal Adornment, 1680-1820: A Guide to Identification and Interpretation. Lanham: Rowman Altamira, 2005.