Sunday, August 2, 2009

20th Century Barbershops ~ #1 In A Series

One of my favorite blogs is Sippican Cottage. The proprietor is a gifted writer who turns a keen eye on the passing scene. He recently did a series that consisted of vintage photographs of front doors from every state. That series has inspired me to show you barbershops across the country during the first half of the 20th century, many recorded by photographers in the employ of the Farm Services Administration, whose positions were created by FDR's Works Progress Administration. Why barbershops? They seem to be an endangered species in our neck of the woods, replaced by ubiquitous "salons". The series will continue on Saturdays until either states or interesting pictures are exhausted, whichever happens first.

Both of these photographs were taken by Russell Lee, for the Office of War Information, working for the Farm Services Administration. The top photograph was made in August, 1937, in Twig, Minnesota. See the two bicycles? One leaned up carefully against the side of the building, over next the the woodpile that fueled the stove inside and the other bike dropped carelessly out front. The photograph below was made in June, 1940, in Mogollon, New Mexico. The barber probably started offering hot showers for Dust Bowl migrants.


steven said...

hello! barbershops were a feature of my childhood and teenage years. typically populated only by men they were a scary place for a little kid because they were so very very masculine. shaving cream, big brushes, razor strops, lots of cigarette and cigar smoke, and occasionally glasses of stuff that disppeared into both the cutter and the cuttee's throats!!! the spinning red, white and blue tube out front - where's that gone? now i visit a salon. mostly women - which is fine because they are generally more vulgar and truly funny than men anyway!!! have a lovely day. s teven

The Weaver of Grass said...

Yes - barber shops are going out of fashion here in the UK too - it is all posh salons for mens' hairdressing - no barber around at all. These photos are a lovely old record and I look forward to seeing them on subsequent Saturdays.

Richie's 2ts Inspires said...

Just dropping by and I can't jst leave without saying "hi".

Have a nice Sunday evening.

Richie's 2ts Inspires said...

TY for peeking back.

I appreciate it much. I thank you too for the comments on my abode. It's simple that I called my own.

Hope to be a bloggie friend soon. I will keep on eye on you too.

Happy evening!

Eryl Shields said...

I love the top one, it looks like it's just been stuck out in the wilderness.

Tracy said...

Very fun to see...that one at the top looks hardly more than a shed--LOL! It's a shame in a way the whole men's barber is going out of fashion for unisex hair/beauty care salons. You always serve up something amazing here--thank you. :o9 Happy week ((HUGS))