The Old West Barber Shop Blog Series continues. This article includes images of historic barber chairs, an antique towel steamer (and hot water dispenser), line art of the era illustrating the pedestal used in lieu of a barber’s chair, images from mail-order catalogues showing tools of the trade available for home purchase, and patents for barber chairs and devices. This series’ upcoming posts will detail Victorian-era men’s hairstyles, bath houses, bath tubs, shower baths, ingenious furniture-bath-tub combinations, and ladies’ hair salons.
American women in the late Victorian Era often cut and curled bangs at the forehead. Many photographs (cabinet cards) show this hairstyle, with the rest being upswept and pinned, as women grew their hair to amazing lengths–all except those stylish bangs. If the curls about the forehead were not a hair piece (purchased by mail), then they most often required a curl. Victorian curling irons (their prices, designs, and heating methods) might surprise you–after all, it’s not (only) like Laura Ingalls Wilder described in her fictionalized memoirs of coming of age and cutting her hair in this style.