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Mary Bachman Antique Comb Collection

An inventory of the collection at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: MRC
Date: 14 Feb 2019

Biographical History

Mary Bachman is a member of the Antique Comb Collectors Club and editor of their newsletter. She is also the author of Collector's Guide to Hair Combs: Identification and Values (1998).

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Mary Bachman Antique Comb Collection consists of 21 combs and hairpins. Most were made in the United States, but the collection also includes a few from France, England, China, and Indonesia. Materials include brass, silver, horn, ivory, and celluloid. Most are hand-made, and date from 1850-1969 although one undated item, from China, may be considerably older.

Identification numbers and descriptions in the inventory below are taken from supplemental information provided by Glenn Beall (see files).

Arrangement of the Collection

No particular order.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Three of the items (002, 007, and 020) are broken. Exercise extreme care in handling, so as not to lose pieces or cause further damage.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Related Material

A copy of Mary Bachman's book, Collector's Guide to Hair Combs: Identification & Values (1988) has been sent to Rare Books for cataloging. Please refer to the Classic Catalog to locate this item.

See also the Mary Bachman Papers. Special Collections Research Center has several other collections related to hair combs, as well as a considerable amount of material related to plastics history and production generally. Please search our collections to locate other collections related to plastics and industrial design, and refer to the Classic Catalog to locate cataloged publications. Please also visit the Plastics Collection Website.

Subject Headings


Bachman, Mary.


Combs -- History.
Combs -- Specimens.
Hair ornaments.

Genres and Forms

Combs (hair ornaments)

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Mary Bachman Antique Comb Collection,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Mary Bachman, 2019.

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