Discover Martha’s Magic

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Date(s) - 06/23/2018
10:00 am - 3:00 pm

Rochester Museum and Science Center


Discover Martha’s Magic is a special day at the Rochester Museum and Science Center devoted to Rochester’s own Martha Matilda Harper. Harper was the Canadian servant girl with floor length hair who opened a beauty salon in the Powers Building in Rochester in 1888, complete with a tilt-back chair and cut-out sink that she designed herself. She expanded her business by inventing the franchise system which allowed former servants like herself to become business owners. Ultimately Harper had 500 franchisees, five beauty schools and two laboratories.

The day will include a longest hair contest (enter online), a station to make lip balm, a display of Harper artifacts, and readings from two new books about Harper for kids. Martha’s Magical Hair is a board book for younger kids, and Martha the Hairpreneur is historical fiction for young adults. Jane Plitt, Harper’s adult biographer, will speak about Rochester’ impact on Harper’s success.

This promises to be a great celebration of another of Rochester’s remarkable women of history.

For more details or to enter the longest hair contest online go to