I first came across Miss May Donnan and her beautiful hair in the April 13, 1914 issue of The Ballarat Courier while I was searching for pioneer obituaries. The copy wasn’t good, so I searched Trove for her. I found a clearer photo in The Mail of Adelaide from 1913.
May had apparently sent away for a free sample of John Craven-Burleigh’s True Hair Grower. What a product. Her hair grew to a length of four feet six inches. Although described as a prominent pianist, after some Troving it seems May’s only claim to fame was her beautiful hair.
May was not the only girl to send in a testimonial about her beautiful hair. There were several that did the rounds of the newspapers through the 1910s but beware some of the pictures are scary…
John Craven-Burleigh Ltd. was an international company with bases in London, Paris, New York and Sydney. The November 24, 1930 issue of The Argus reported that the Australian branch had gone into liquidation. I assume the whole company went under.