Here's another prediction of yesteryear that never panned out. Found in the Kingsport News - Apr 2, 1959:
J. McLaren Thomson, president of the National Hairdressers Federation, predicts that both men and women will have their hair short by 1999 so that they can wear space helmets. He said women will have a collection of wigs to wear with special dresses for gala occasions.
Do afros make you think of chairs? That's what they made Korean designer Yangsoo Pyo think of, inspiring him to create the "Afro Chair." He writes:
"Afro" is a chair that employed the image of the hair style "Afro Permanent hair." Springs are used to visualize the tangled and puffed up texture of the afro hair. The springs used to create the "Afro chair" are the two-ring binder springs used to bind together a notebook. The two-ring binders do not get tangled but rather wraps around each other.
Therefore, there is no danger of destroying women's stockings or knitwear. In fact the chair is very comfy. The manufacturing process of this chair begins with a simple iron frame. Then, the springs are used instead of the normal sponge and leather cover.
A Scottish child and a Native-American child pour hair tonic on the head of an elderly Anglo man and massage it in, while a child soldier out of some European comic opera stands by with sword upraised in tribute.
The only sensible part of this weird iconography is the Scottish kid. Once upon a time, right up to, oh, the 1960s, "anything Scottish = cheap and economical" was standard advertising shorthand.
I came across this description of a mechanical hair-brush published in Chambers's Journal of Popular Literature, Nov. 23, 1863. It operated by means of "an endless band of vulcanised india-rubber... that descends to within about a foot of your head and is made to revolve by machinery." Here's a description of it in action:
When I went in to get my hair thus brushed, had sat down before the glass, and been tucked in as usual, with bib and dressing-gown, the hair-dresser took up one of his circular brushes and hitched it to the revolving band over my head. In a moment I felt a silent fanning, as if some monstrous butterfly were hovering over me; this was the air of the twirling brush, which caught my hair up and laid it down, and traveled all over my head with incessant gentle penetration. It crept down my whiskers and searched my beard with the same tender and yet decided effect. There was no scratching, not even of the neck and ears, but the skin of cheeks and chin was reached and swept. It was a new sensation. I felt as if I should like to be brush continously for a month.
Evidently mechanical hair-brushes never caught on, because the only picture of one I could find was this: