By Mary N. DiZazzo

The Blow Dryer-adapted from the "vacuum cleaner"!
My Mom Josephine, in her Modern Salon "Mary's Beauty Shop," circa 1946, Lawrence Massachusetts.

Ciao bella,

What did the ladies do before the hair dryer? It's been 117 years perfecting it!

In 1890 Alexander F. Godefoy first designed a dryer that was extremely large and leaned over a chair. It looked very similar in appearance from the floor model chairs seen in many modern salons. As seen in photo my Mom and Nana’s shop was considered a most Modern Salon in its time!

By 1920 the first hand -held home use dryer made it's debut. Although very bulky and heavy it was not only difficult to use but could only be on for a little time until it over heated. Ironically it only produced 100 watts of heat!

In the early 1950s a modern and easier version was developed. It was not only used as a hand held dryer but many ladies fitted it into a plastic bonnet and wore it on their heads with the dryer producing warm air over hair curlers-I do love mine! Makes for longer lasting body and shine.

By the 1970s companies producing the blow dryers focused on improving the safety of them. As smaller versions and more efficient technologically advanced motors became available, the dryer became more powerful.

It was by the 1990s that the most portable dryers produced 1500 watts! Other features of the newer models were high tech plastic and insulation making them lighter and safer.

Today’s technology and innovative evolution has brought us thousands of hand held and seated dryers from many to choose. Today’s added features are ionic, light-weight, nano silver, cool shot buttons, swivel cords, and an array of other conveniences that has made this once novelty machine a privilege to own and a necessity we take for granted- Bravo to the vacuum cleaner that started it all! Buona giornata and God bless the United States of America!

--Mary N. DiZazzo-Trumbull

Read prior weeks' "All That Zazz" columns at Mary is a third-generation cosmetologist and a Massachusetts distributor of Kosmea brand rose hip oil products. She may be contacted at (978) 470-8183 or