Growing Up With Electrolysis

D.J. MAHLER
(1860-1934)

 

 

 

Founder of
D.J. Mahler, Inc. and
The Instantron Company

It was the 1880's and a time for invention, growth, and action. It was also a carefree time and the country was filled with optimism which preceded the "Gay Nineties" era. Daniel J. Mahler lived, worked hard, and fashioned a good life for himself through his own intense motivations. He educated himself with extension courses at Brown University and opened a beauty parlor in downtown providence, Rhode Island. By 1888 he was treating patients for permanent hair removal with galvanic electrolysis only twelve years after the procedure was developed. My father was a man of perhaps 5' 6" or so in height and a springy 130 pounds ... he was impressive, serious, intellectual, dedicated, and a good businessman. The business prospered and as a matter of fact, we still have some of his early price lists, diaries, and other mementos in our files - a priceless heritage of the electrolysis industry today.
D.J. MAHLER
OFFICE and LABORATORY
PROVIDENCE, RI, USA

 

 

 

Where It All Began in 1880

My fondest recollections of him are of the time when he was 63 or 64, a well dressed, mustachioed elder who kept me busy around the shop as well as eight or ten other employees working in the office. Both he and Mom were among the very few practicing electrologists in the area. There may have been others, but the professional electrologist was rare in those days. For most people, electrolysis treatments meant Boston or New York City. At that time I was just doing shop and clerical work in the office, learning a few fundamentals about how a business operates internally and externally. Looking back on that period which was around 1925, I recall how archaic and primitive the equipment, accessories, and supplies were compared to today's modern shortwave epilators and supplies. I marvel at the technological achievements and recognition of the industry from the original concept Dr. Michel developed so long ago to destroy the hair roots of inverted eyelashes.
Professional Epilator

 

 

 

1890 Era

My father's character and professionalism is readily apparent from the language used in a 1900 product catalog. In it he stated, "Of all facial blemishes with which womanhood is embarrassed, there is none so annoying as a growth of unwanted hair on the face, neck or arms. The features of many an otherwise beautiful woman are made unattractive by such disfigurement. It is to such women that this booklet is addressed, showing them that there is one method by which they can gain positive, permanent relief and still have a perfect complexion when the treatments are completed. During my more than twenty years of experience as a hair specialist, it has been my pleasure to be the means of relieving the suffering of many ladies afflicted with superfluous hair growth." Elsewhere he said, "I have every confidence that electrolysis is the only positive and permanent way to remove unwanted hair forever and that the integrity of the treatment depends entirely upon the skill and expertise of the electrologist." Such is the legacy my father left us when he died in 1934, and we have sustained his business on that premise ever since.
After Dad passed away, my Mother carried on the company affairs for several years along with my brothers, Dan and Harold, and myself. In 1936 the company evolved into D. J. Mahler, Inc., and in 1969 it was formally changed to Instantron to reflect the changes in our presentation to the practicing electrologist. We had been using the INSTANTRON name since 1946 because this has always been the name of our shortwave epilator. As far as I know, we are the oldest manufacturers, instructors and practicing electrologists in a continuous family owned and directed electrolysis business.
Instantron is what it is today because a young man with little formal education recognized a need of his time and through his own efforts gained the knowledge, experience, and expertise to satisfy that need. In conjunction with that innovation, he also developed the necessary marketing, merchandising, and advertising skills to propel this business into the twentieth century and beyond.
Professional Epilator

 

 

 

1946 Era

By capitalizing on technological changes and expanding our product lines, we have been successful in increasing our size and volume every year. As the recognized leader in equipment innovation, styling, and performance, we are one of the best sources for information, equipment, education, and supplies for the professional electrologist - and we owe it all to the basic business principles established almost one hundred years ago by D. J. Mahler. I am sure he would be proud to see how greatly this industry has developed from the rudimentary origins he was part of during the latter 1880's. About 1955, the electrolysis industry began to blossom from a narrowly defined and fuzzy image industry to one which, every year, brings more people into the business, more people teaching, better training, more sophistication and more seminars and conventions which are perfect exchanges for educational information to benefit the credibility and respect of all professional electrologists. We, as a company, have always tried to encourage the organizations who are responsible for these changing conditions, with sizable contributions given to support this work every year.
Today, almost 85 years to the day of his death, I publicly thank my father for providing us with the basic principles that have allowed us to continue in business uninterrupted for 120 years and which will help us meet future challenges.
To draw on our 120 years of experience we invite you to call (401) 433-6800, we'd be pleased to hear from you and answer any questions you may have.
Arthur Y. Mahler
Vice President
(Retired)

 

 

more on the History of Instantron
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