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The National Archives of Ireland has a new genealogy website, which provides access to Census Records for 1901 and 1911, the Tithe Applotment Books from 1823 to 1837, and Soldiers’ Wills from 1914 to 1917.

Free Online Archives (and hair brushing by steam engine)

Advertisement from The Town Crier: or, Jacob's Belles Lettres, Birmingham, Nov 1866

In Birmingham, England, circa 1866, there was a “Professor Steele, Practical Hair Cutter,” who offered a yearly subscription to men’s hair care services.  “All Subscribers,” advertised Professor Steele (see advert, left), “will receive immediate attention from himself and Eleven first-class Men, and may have their HAIR CUT, CLEANED, SHAMPOO’D, AND BRUSHED BY STEAM, As often as they like, all the year round, in the largest, handsomest, and best-fitted saloon in the three Kingdoms.”1 Subscription price: One Guinea.2

Their hair brushed by steam? And just how did that  work?

Well, it worked by means of a Camp’s Rotary Hair Brush, of course, which was “propelled by a pretty bright Steam Engine, which performs its revolutions in a glass case, in a perfectly noiseless manner.” I have to admit, I cannot form a clear image of this device in my mind, not even after having read the accompanying paean to the THE ROTARY HAIR BRUSH in rhyming verse (“It rolls with soft mechanic power/Around the head with ease/And thousands who have tried it say/It cannot fail to please.”).

  1. The three kingdoms = England, Scotland and Ireland.
  2. 1 Guinea = 21 shillings, or one pound and one shilling