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COLLECTION Identifier: B/G618

Gold Medal Hair Products advertising collection, ca.1942-1967


Seven illustrated advertising circulars and one catalog promoting Gold Medal Hair Products, hair and skin care products for Black women, from the 1940s to the 1960s.


  • 1942-1967


Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the records created by Gold Medal Hair Products, Inc. as well as copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.

Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.


1 folder

Collection contains seven illustrated advertising circulars and one catalog promoting Gold Medal Hair Products from the 1940s to the1960s. The catalog and circulars include order forms addressed to the company's locations in Brooklyn and Inwood, New York. The circulars promote products including "Be-Gone" skin cream; "Carbonel," a scalp ointment specifically marketed as a treatment for alopecia; and the "Medalo" line of hair tools, including a portable hair care kerosene stove, irons, and wigs and hair extensions. In addition, the collection includes a catalog dated 1967 that features the company's wide range of hair and skin products, as well as wigs and fashion eyeglasses for men and women. Many of the products are touted as "doctor approved" and discuss the health benefits of using the products.


Gold Medal Hair Products, Inc. was founded in 1942 in the New York City area to provide hair and skin products for Black women. The company sells its products directly to customers through mail-order, catalog, and the internet, and has advertised in newspapers and on television. Products include scalp and hair formulas, hair extensions and wigs, and hair care equipment such as combs and irons. The company's website, viewed in 2022, describes its commitment and philosophy about Black hair: "'Good hair' is not straight hair for the Black woman. Good hair is the natural hair we were born with. It may be difficult to comb. It may frizz up in damp weather. Gold Medal products are designed to bring natural health, and manageable styling back to damaged hair and to keep hair healthy and feeling great." Gold Medal Hair Products also sells skin care treatments and shaping garments.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 2022-M145

The Gold Medal Hair Products advertising collection was acquired by the Schlesinger Library from Caroliniana in July 2022.

Processing Information

Processed: October 2022

By: Paula Aloisio

The Schlesinger Library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections, and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.  Finding aids may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Language of description
Processing of this collection was made possible by gifts from the Class of 1957 Schlesinger Library Fund and the Kim A. Bendheim Fund.

Repository Details

Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository

The preeminent research library on the history of women in the United States, the Schlesinger Library documents women's lives from the past and present for the future. In addition to its traditional strengths in the history of feminisms, women’s health, and women’s activism, the Schlesinger collections document the intersectional workings of race and ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class in American history.

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