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Archival Oddities

Collecting Hair

Album of Bradt Family Hair




Collecting different items has always been a popular pastime. People collect coins, stamps, dolls and all kinds of interesting things. This collection is a bit different. In 1843, Elizabeth (Hansler) Bradt started a hair album. The tradition was continued by her daughter, Mercy J. Dunn. Each lock of hair is accompanied by a name and the year the lock was taken.  Sometimes there are other details such as birth, death, place of birth or other biographical information. There are 255 locks of hair in the album. The album is dated from 1843 right up until 1976.










Samples of hair adorned by ribbons and flowers.