I’m delighted and flattered that Alan Burnett over at Sepia Saturday selected my suggestion for this week’s theme! My suggestion was “men with facial hair…or women with facial hair!” While I’m definitely able to meet the first half of the prompt, I cannot actually find one single photo of a bearded lady in my collection. I did have this friend in school who’s mother had quite an impressive mustache. As much as my friend hinted and cajoled, her mother did nothing about it and to this day has quite a thick growth on her upper lip. How’d you like to pucker up to that? Yikes!
I shall instead regale you with five photos of fantastic facial hair from the 19th century.
This CdV from the 1870s was made by the very popular photographer Harrington in West Salem, Ohio. His gallery was located over Gable’s Drug Store, if you happen to have an old map. This type of beard is called a chin curtain, I am certain you can ascertain why. For the men visiting, just how long would it take a man to grow a beard to such a length? This chin curtain must be 8 inches or more from lip to tip. Perhaps he was adding hair on the chin as he was losing it on the top.
Next up by C. G. Hill in Lynn, no state provided, this man looks like he just came from Russia, doesn’t he? His full goatee is surmounted only by his fuzzy hat. What are those hats called anyway? This image is one of my favorites and you must read the caption out loud with your best Russian accent for full effect.
This particular CdV features a handlebar mustache that drifts into bushy sideburns. I like to think that he spent hours grooming his whiskers keeping them nice and clean. This photo was made by C. Taylor Photographer in Bishop, Auckland, New Zealand. Can any of our international visitors comment on the location or photographer?
I imagine this very full and lovely handlebar could have been waxed into a curlicue shape if so desired. This man must have been quite proud of his mustache. It is more prominent than anything else in the photograph. He looks a bit like a walrus. The photographer was Baldwin in Wichita, Kansas and the photograph looks like a collodion print to me, dating it after 1892.
I saved my favorite for last. We get four bewhiskered faces for the price of one! These are likely brothers given the close similarities in their appearance. I keep expecting them to break out in four part harmony like a barbershop quartet, don’t you? Or perhaps they are the Earp brothers, there were four of them, right? You are under arrest! The image was made by J. F. Rank in Van Wert, Ohio.
If you love looking at beards, mustaches and other types of facial hair, click over to Sepia Saturday.