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Twig Trimmer: 1937

Twig Trimmer: 1937

August 1937. "Barbershop in village of Twig, Minnesota." Medium format nitrate negative by Russell Lee for the Resettlement Administration. View full size.


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Electrical system in a suitcase? You bet.

In June, 1938, the "modern" electrical system in my Great Uncle and Aunt's, "The Walton's" style, rural general store in the Missouri Ozarks, consisted of a few light-bulbs, wire, batteries, and a hand-crank generator; all of which would fit in a suitcase. My father, a 12-year old farm-boy, powered the generator as people from all-around listened-in on a new, floor-mounted, upright electric radio to the "fight-of-the-century" between Germany's Max Schmelling and America's Joe Louis.

S. Todd, Barber -> Twig Store

Propane and nightcrawlers… I guess you'll see no cries of gentrification here.

Out in the sticks

When I lived in Minnesota, the joke was "Twig - oh yeah, it's out in the sticks." Looks like it still is. To add to the interesting place names, Minnesota also has a Fertile and a Climax. In journalism class, we were shown an actual headline: "Fertile Woman Dies in Climax."

All Gone

Scissors and comb have been replaced with propane and nightcrawlers.

One Chair

Lots of waiting, bet many tall tales were heard within those walls.

Pole Matching

In case a potential customer misses the barber-pole, this barber has a matching barber-corner-of-building.


Two Minnesota photos in as many days. But whereas Twig is way up near Duluth, Blue Earth (of Minnesota Kodachromes fame) is south of Minneapolis on Interstate 90, almost at the Iowa border.

Floyd's Barber Shop in Mayberry

is looking positively palatial compared to this.

The Old Fashioned Way

Judging by the lack of electrical wires and windows (at least from this angle), it looks like this barber does things the old fashioned way: Comb and scissors by lantern light. Hope you're not too picky!

[Half of the storefront is a window! - Dave]

At Least It's Heated

Excuse me, may I use your washroom please? Looks like no water or shampoo in this place. Nor a light switch. Oh and by the way, the washroom shack is a few steps out out back, unheated.

[There is, however, free parking. - Dave]

Barber pole

There’s either the elegant rotating pole inside a glass tube or, uh, this.

[Not to mention the traditional barber building corner. -tterrace]

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