Apr 1938: Actress Jean Colwell came up with a sure-fire way to end all wars. Her idea was that if a group of beautiful, blonde women stood in between the two opposing armies, in the "no man's land," then the soldiers on each side would refuse to attack because "No soldier will shoot at a good-looking blonde." Peace would be achieved!
To make her vision a reality, Colwell placed an ad in a New York newspaper:
Are you blonde, beautiful and ready to join men in the trenches in the next war? It's the last chance to save this idiotic man's world. Jean Colwell, 124 West 55th.
The response was enthusiastic, and within a month she had enough volunteers to form a "blonde brigade," all wiling to risk their lives for peace.
Wisconsin State Journal - Mar 29, 1938
Los Angeles Times - Apr 27, 1938
Owensboro Messenger - Apr 2, 1938
Women of other hair colors didn't want to be left out. So there was soon also a "red-headed regiment" and a "brunette battalion."
San Bernardino County Sun - Apr 30, 1938
Of course, none of these women were ever shipped to the front line to serve as a human shield. Colwell herself spent the war in Forth Worth, Texas performing in plays. After the war she moved to Japan as a civil service worker. When she died in 1986, she was back in Fort Worth. I haven't found any info on what she did between 1946 and 1986.
Science has not yet discovered how to grow hair on a billiard ball, but chemists in the General Electric Research Laboratory here can grow a handsome head of "hair" of a beard on "Aluminum Al," who is nothing more than a sheet of pure aluminum cut out in the shape of a mans head. As shown above, "Al" in a few minutes time can go from complete baldness through the tomahawk-type haircut to the tonsorially-respendent "Mr. Esquire hairdo. Amusing though he is, "Al's" purpose is a serious one of helping provide a better understanding of the most effective ways of using aluminum, which is replacing copper in many critical applications. According to GE scientist, aluminum could be not be used were it not obliging enough to furnish its own protective coating, a thin film of aluminum oxide, when cut. The film keeps air away and prevents further oxidation. "Al" demonstrates a condition under which this does not occur. When his surface is scratch under mercury, the film does not form. Instead the oxide sprouts out along the scratches is an uncontrolled, hair-like growth. Prof. J. H. Hildenbrand, University of California, is credited with the idea of first trying the oxidation principle on a cut-out head.
The FBI's main thrust was not investigations but public relations and propaganda to glorify Hoover. Everyone who worked in the bureau, especially those of us in high places around him, bear our share of the blame.
Flacking for the FBI was part of every agent's job from his first day. In fact, "making a good first impression" was a necessary prerequisite for being hired as a special agent in the first place. Bald-headed men, for example, were never hired as agents because Hoover thought a bald head made a bad impression. No matter if the man involved was a member of Phi Beta Kappa or a much-decorated marine, or both. Appearances were terribly important to Hoover, and special agents had to have the right look and wear the right clothes...
Though a bald-headed man wouldn't be hired as an agent, an employee who later lost his hair wasn't fired but was kept out of the public eye.
I guess that means that, under Hoover, Walter Skinner would never have made the cut.
Among the objects of the invention is to provide a combined head covering and comb so constructed and arranged that the wearer of the head covering may comb up his hair coincidentally with the removal of the head covering from his head, and hence without rendering himself conspicuous in so doing.
I'm pretty sure it wasn't possible to use this hat-comb without rendering yourself very conspicuous.
Trained dietician and cosmetologist Rita Hartinger was the foremost practitioner of the "hair popping" technique of hair preservation and regrowth; she was working out of New York City in 1968. Eight years earlier she had learned the trade from its originator, hairdresser Marsha Lewis, since retired. Hartinger called herself a "professional hair popper," believing her method of scalp stimulation helped her customers keep whatever hair they had and perhaps sprout a new crop. "I make the hairs healthy.... When you lift up the scalp from the bone structure by popping, it stimulates circulation and nourishes the tissue. Then the hair is strengthened, and it is less likely to fall out," she said. A journalist who watched Rita in action reported that each tug on the scalp did indeed produce a "pop," and he described the sound further by writing it was "as if a kernel of popcorn had exploded on his head."
Hair popping, as a cure for baldness, fell out of fashion. But recently it's re-emerged as a fad on TikTok. Though it's now being called 'scalp popping'.
Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.