Canadian Fashion Connection – False Eyelashes

Actress Lillian Gish claimed that DW Griffith had invented false eyelashes in 1916 when he had a pair made of human hair glued to a strip of gauze for actress Seena Owen to wear in his film Intolerance. That would be a nice story if it wasn’t for a Canadian woman from Ottawa by the name of Anna Taylor who received a U.S. patent in 1911 for artificial eyelashes. However, her patent for ‘improvements’ to artificial eyelashes suggests invention rights may have to be given to German-born Charles Nestle (Karl Nessler) who reportedly first made false eyelashes around the turn of the century.  Nestle is better know for inventing the permanent hair waving machine.

tiff:timestamp: 2000: 5:26 12:06:45

About Jonathan

Jonathan Walford is a fashion historian and co-founder of the Fashion History Museum in Cambridge, Ontario. The FHM maintains a collection of nearly 12,000 artifacts dating from the mid 17th century to the present. Jonathan has authored various books and museum catalogues, including The Seductive Shoe, Shoes A-Z, Forties Fashion, 1950s American Fashion, and Sixties Fashion.
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