Who Invented the Eyelash Curler


Usually made of metal and having some sort of device that can be operated by hand, an eyelash curler is a specific device that is used to increase the lift of a person’s eyelashes. Although this is typically for cosmetic purposes and can help the eyelashes hold mascara in an effective manner, it can also be used to keep eyelashes away from the eyes and the irritation that can be caused.

The first eyelash curler was invented in 1931 by William McDonell. The patent was also filed by Charles Stickel, but the documents of the patent clearly show that McDonell alone was the inventor of the first curlers. It was initially used with a mirror and suction cups. Most people, however, recognize William Beldue as the inventor of the eyelash curler for his work to improve the device. Beldue holds patents in the US, the UK, and Canada.

What Did William Beldue Work On Throughout His Company?

Beldue and his business partner, William Tuttle, built a very successful business around the improvements that were made to the eyelash curler. Many of his patents are still in use today in some form because of how easy they are to use. Operated like a scissors, the jaws of the curler open up and all someone must do is press down on them to get the eyelashes to curl.

This same scissors design was something that Beldue and Tuttle tried to take to other products as well. They also invented a cigar cutter that was based on the design of their eyelash curler. Although there aren’t many different ways to design something that cuts a cigar, this pair claimed an ornamental improvement to the basic design that was granted a patent in 1950.

Much of his inventive work was focused on the eyelash curler. With over a dozen patents to his name in conjunction with his business partner, this device has been used millions of times over the years.

What About the Original Inventor of the Eyelash Curler?

Nothing much is known about the man who would change beauty techniques forever. McDonell was from Rochester, NY and that’s about all that anybody knows about him. Even online, there is only a line or two of description about him and most of that comes from the 1931 patent that was granted for the device.

What we do know is that the Kurlash Company was able to help a number of people be able to feel confident and beautiful without the pain that was involved before this invention. Although seen as a novelty by some, the reality of this invention is that it has become a useful beauty device that has very few drawbacks. It creates lashes that look fuller, takes out the scratchiness of corner eyelashes, and is quite inexpensive.

The next time you need to use an eyelash curler, you can thank McDonell for the idea… but thanks Beldue and Tuttle for their improvements and marketing ability to bring this device into many homes around the world.

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