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The Barber of Harrisonburg : 1941

The Barber of Harrisonburg : 1941

January 1941. Harrisonburg, Virginia. "Shenandoah Valley. The Valley State Employment Service is aiding in the tapping the skilled labor resources of the Valley. These signs have been widely distributed. This one is in the center of Harrisonburg." Medium format negative by John Vachon. View full size.


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Don't Fiddle with Friddle

"Barber Hugh L. Friddle threatened to take legal action, alleging restraint of trade."

That Hugh looks like a no-nonsense guy.

He Wants Them, Too

Since he's standing at the window with his hands in his pockets, I'll bet he would love to see a few "carpenters" and "skilled mechanics" come in for a shave and a haircut!

Barber Friddle

Update on the Friddles. I found this article in the Pittsburgh Press, dated Aug 16, 1932.

"Harrisonburg, Va - The barbers are up in arms here because the Chamber of Commerce wants all residents to let their beards grow for three weeks.

The beard-growing campaign was started by the Chamber in preparation for the pageant in September commemorating the 200th anniversary of the settlement of the Shenandoah Valley.

Barber Hugh L. Friddle threatened to take legal action, alleging restraint of trade."

Ars Gratia Artis

Vachon was more interested in taking a shot of the barber than of the sign, if his choice of focus is any indication.

The Barber of Harrisonburg: 1941

According to the 1930 census, and 1942 WWII draft registrations, the Friddles were Elmer, Marlo, and Hugh. In 1941, Elmer was 52, Marlo was 49, and Hugh was 45. So which one of them is standing in the window?

Cold day in January

Notice the ice on the barber pole.

I wonder

if the Virginia SES is still hiring?

Cold foot

I hope that baby's mother figured out where his other shoe had fallen off! It was January and most people could only afford one pair of shoes that fit a little one at a time!

[Possibly a keepsake of the barber's? A child or grandchild's baby shoe, perhaps, placed where he'd frequently see it. - tterrace]

Yeah, I thought of that possibility, too! Remember how people used to have baby shoes put into bronze, with a frame for a picture of the baby, and displayed on the piano or some kind of table? I still have the first shoes of all of my kids.

The face of a sage

A good barber, like a good bartender, always seems to have a demeanor that exudes adroitness and wisdom.

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