Metal lice comb, 'Derbac' brand, England, 1930-1940

1930-40 in England

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Metal lice comb for the removal of lice and their eggs from human hair, 'Derbac' brand, made in England, 1930-1940

Head lice are passed by direct contact from person to person or by sharing brushes, combs and hats. It is a very common condition among schoolchildren who are likely to have at least one episode in their lifetime. Lice and their eggs can be removed from human hair using combs like this one.

Head lice are often referred to as ‘nits’ and this device is probably better known as a ‘nit comb’. Nit combs could be used at home by parents, but at school they were likely to be used during an unwanted visit to the so-called ‘nit nurse’.

On display

Science Museum: Medicine: The Wellcome Galleries

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Public Health & Hygiene
Object Number:
copper (alloy) and metal (unknown)
lice comb
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
Monica Britten Exhibition Hall of Medical History

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