A long time ago, when consumer products were made in America, the original ACE combs were ubiquitous. Men and boys carried them. Every barber shop had an ACE comb sales display. James Dean famously used one to comb his hair in Rebel Without a Cause. President John F. Kennedy owned at least one. ACE combs were successful because they were quality products, typical for that age. They were made from a tough, strong, flexible hard rubber with thick end guard tines to protect the teeth. The rough mold parting line around the back and edges was carefully ground off smooth to eliminate the sharp edge. Even the tips of the teeth were smoothed off so as to not damage hair. They could be dropped without damage and tended to last for years. As cheaper imitators appeared, ACE started stamping their products as “Genuine ACE Hard Rubber”.
During the adverse conditions of the 1980’s, one of their competitors bought ACE and that was the end of the original ACE comb. Since the competitor now owned the ACE trademarks, they had legal right to stamp “Genuine ACE Hard Rubber” on their existing combs made out of a more brittle material with thinner guards and an exposed sharp mold line including along the tips of the teeth. These combs broke if you dropped them on their ends but that just meant the customer would buy another.
Many people didn’t notice, but if you cared, it was annoying. If you do care, here are a couple of sources for hand-made, high quality combs, with saw cut teeth to eliminate mold edges between teeth, and polished all over so they have no sharp edges anywhere. They are tough and long lasting.
Speert imports a wide range of private label high quality hand-made Swiss combs for men and women, in pocket, purse, and styling versions. The Speert site also offers a very wide selection of different styles, sizes, and diopters of inexpensive reading glasses.
For seriously old-school, Kent has been making the “world’s finest brushes” and combs for over 240 years … since 1777. They produce a range of men’s and women’s hand-made, saw cut, polished combs. You can hear the difference as their combs glide through your hair. The given link is for Great Britain and while they have importers, the home web site is worth visiting. It has a web store and PayPal does the pound/dollar conversion seamlessly.
These are elegant combs for a very reasonable price.