Chicago, IL Lit Cigar While Hair Soaked with Tonic, Dec 1893


A Man Who Lit a Cigar While His Hair Was Soaked With Tonic.

Chicago Tribune.

Men who persist in smoking while in a barber's chair may profit by the experience of Henry Hallenstein, who was frightfully burned about the face, head and neck in Alfred Otto's barber shop. He is now at his home swathed in bandages, and vows he will never again attempt to light a cigar while a barber is putting tonic on his hair.

Fritz Holz, the barber who was catering to his customer's wants, fared almost as badly as Mr. Hallenstein. His right hand was burned and one-half of his long blonde mustache was singed in such a manner that he was obliged to trim it short.

Shortly after dinner Hallenstein went over to Otto's barber shop for a shave. Everything went along smoothly until Mr. Hallenstein was shaved. "What will you have on your hair?" asked the barber. Mr. Hallenstein knew that Fritz wanted him to use Mr. Otto's tonic and he consented.

The barber had doused a considerable amount of this liquid on Mr. Hallenstein's head when the latter decided he wanted a smoke. He pulled out a cigar and asked for a light. There were no matches at hand, so he took a piece of shaving paper, folded it up and lighted it from the gas jet. As he brought the burning paper close to the cigar the alcoholic fumes from the tonic ignited. There was a sudden flash of flame and Mr. Hallenstein, screaming at the top of his voice, leaped from the chair. Fritz grabbed a towel and as quickly as possible smothered the flames. Mr. Hallenstein was burned badly about the face, ears and neck. The skin had all peeled off. His eyelashes, mustache and hair were badly singed.

Fritz himself had not escaped injuries. His right hand was severely burned. One-half of his long mustache was burned away. When one of his fellow barbers took a pair of shears and clipped the other side to make it match Fritz almost cried with grief.

The Dallas Morning News, Dallas, TX 30 Dec 1893