Many artifacts related to personal grooming were found within the house block and midden excavations, and the evidence suggests that personal appearance was an important concern in the Williams family. The most common grooming artifacts are 48 fragments of hard rubber hair combs (a, b). The partial combs and teeth vary in size, shape, and color, and the pieces represent at least seven different combs. A few of the hair combs appear to be women's hair combs used as hair pins.

Two hair pins (c), one made of iron and the other of white metal, are distinctly female artifacts. Many types of farm work would have required women with long hair to use such pins, both for comfort and safety.

Another interesting grooming artifact is the single straight razor blade (d), which was typically used by men for face shaving but could also be used to cut hair. The 1895 Montgomery Ward & Company catalog had a variety of different straight razors for sale, and one of these is shown here (e).

Close Window