Curls in Court

In a Delaware Federal court last week, Judge John Biggs Jr. stared thoughtfully at a demonstration of spiral waves, "croquignole" waves, the grotesque spindles, rolls, clamps and gadgets used in 83,000 U. S. beauty shops to help straight-haired women outwit nature. If the display looked frivolous, the lawsuit behind it was not: at stake was some $6,000,000.

The croquignole process, which revolutionized permanent waves by the simple device of winding the hair around curlers from the tips instead of from the scalp, was patented in the '20s by a Czech named Josef Mayer. In the U. S., Mayer's patents are...

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