Ladies have always had those special gathering places that, by their nature, are for “women only.” In the Victorian era ladies of means gathered in the home to decorate porcelain at painting parties. A common pastime in the early part of the 20th Century was the quilting bee. In the 1960’s many of our mothers enjoyed an afternoon Bridge with “the girls.” And on Wednesday evenings my daughter and her friends all pull on their Spandex and head out for a night of Zumba.
Yes, we gals have always found our ways to get a few moments away from the men.
To balance the scales, there exists an oasis of masculinity that has remained pretty much a “boys club” since it’s inception in the mid-1800s. A place to relax, read the morning paper, share political views and catch up on all the local gossip (yes, men gossip too.) A place where a man always felt welcome, even catered to, no matter what his social position. No membership dues or scheduled meetings here, just a chance to escape from the worries of the day............. at the neighborhood barbershop.
From the stripped pole at the entry, to the basic tools of the trade, Barber shop memorabilia is attracting an ever growing audience of collectors. Whether it be a barber chair for $1700 to a shaving brush for $10, the memorabilia from the glory days of the barbershop are in high demand.
Shaving mugs, from 1860-1930, have long been a popular collectible.Collectors watch for “occupational mugs.” When a man was a regular at a barber shop he would be assigned his own personal shaving mug. These commissioned mugs,with the name of the owner in quilt lettering and a hand-painted illustration of this profession, added a touch of individuality and prestige to the daily grooming ritual.