1882 Fletcher Sutherland launched his business selling hair restorer.
He had a potent sales pitch - his seven daughters had magnificent
long hair. A picture of Fletcher Sutherland and his daughters is
below. However, it wasn't until Henry Baily of Barnum and Baily
circus fame married one of his daughters that business really took
off. The sisters traveled with Barnum and Bailey's Greatest Show
on Earth, demonstrating their extremely long hair (and singing skills)
and selling their hair tonic. It was called the Seven Sutherland
Sisters Hair Grower.
The Seven Sutherland Sisters Corp. bottled and distributed the
Hair Grower from New York City. They soon added a Scalp Cleanser
in 1886, a Seven Sutherland Sisters Comb and eight shades of Hair
Colorators around 1900.
Fletcher Sutherland died in 1888 and two of his daughters were
deceased by 1912. However, that did not stop the sales of the Seven
Sutherland Sisters Hair Grower. The remaining 5 daughters and Henry
Baily recruited two new "sisters" and continued traveling
and selling their products. The tonic was still being advertised
in 1930 although by then the business was in steep decline.
In 1886 when Henry Baily registered a trade mark for
Seven Sutherland Sisters "hair tonics or washes" the preparation
was listed as containing borax, salt, quinine, cantharides, bay
rum, gylcerine, rose water, alcohol, and soap. An analysis conducted
in 1896 (Pharmaceutical Era Journal) found the hair grower contained
56% water of witch hazel, 44% bay rum, salt, hydrochloric acid,
and trace amounts of other salts such as magnesia.