As a period of innovation and technology, the nineteenth century offers a perfect opportunity to explore the world of shaving patents.
The past is strewn with epidemics.
Men’s personal grooming and advice literature in the 19th century.
The problem was that a shave in an early modern barbershop varied considerably in quality.
Men were extolled to let their beards grow long, full and ‘natural’, an outward symbol of the power that lay within.
In 1887 an unusual case came before the county court at Tiverton in Devon.
Strange tales from the Irish Folklore Archive.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, the chattering barber was a comic stereotype.
The First ever beard and mustache competition?!
The eighteenth century was one of technological innovations. Popular interest in science, new inventions and technologies, had never been so strong, and saw the rising popularity of public science lectures, which often included demonstrations and live experiments.
Hair, whether on the head or the face, was a central component of masculinity.
There has long been a tension between what we might call ‘official’ and ‘lay’ or popular medical practices.
How dare they suppress the hairy honors of the chin?
Facial hair and physiognomy.
Did 18th Century barbers advertise at all?
In May 1869, an article appeared in the St James’ Magazine, provocatively titled ‘Poisonous Hosiery’.