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COMB (a word common in various forms to Teut. languages, cf. Ger. Kamm, the Indo-Europ. origin of which is seen in , a peg or pin, and Sanskrit, gambhas, a tooth), a toothed article of the toilet used for cleaning and arranging the hair, and also for holding it in place after it has been arranged; the word is also applied, from resemblance in form or in use, to various appliances employed for dressing wool and other fibrous substances, to the indented fleshy crest of a cock, and to the ridged series of cells of wax filled with honey in a beehive. Hair combs are of great antiquity, and specimens made of wood, bone and horn have been found in Swiss lake-dwellings. Among the Greeks and Romans they were made of boxwood, and in Egypt also of ivory. For modern combs the same materials are used, together with others such as tortoise-shell, metal, india-rubber and celluloid. There are two chief methods of manufacture. A plate of the selected material is taken of the size and thickness required for the comb, and on one side of it, occasionally on both sides, a series of fine slits are cut with a circular saw. This method involves the loss of the material cut out between the teeth. The second method, known as "twinning" or "parting," avoids this loss and is also more rapid. The plate of material is rather wider than before, and is formed into two combs simultaneously, by the aid of a twinning machine. Two pairs of chisels, the cutting edges of which are as long as the teeth are required to be and are set at an angle converging towards the sides of the plate, are brought down alternately in such a way that the wedges removed from one comb form the teeth of the other, and that when the cutting is complete the plate presents the appearance of two combs with their teeth exactly inosculating or dovetailing into each other. In india-rubber combs the teeth are moulded to shape and the whole hardened by vulcanization.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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