Great Mustaches of the Library of Congress: Music Division Edition

Detail from "The Shriners' march," by Mares Ah Yarrum. Cincinnati, John Church Co., 1893.

Detail from "The Shriners' march," by Mares Ah Yarrum. Cincinnati, John Church Co., 1893.

Our present-day fascination with the facial hair of yore may have behind it a number of reasons: a yearning for the sartorial elegance of by-gone days; an urge to lampoon the historical patriarchal hegemony;  the deep-seated instinct, like that found among birdwatchers and trainspotters, to catalogue the varieties of hirsute experience; a lot of spare time and income. Perhaps fitting into more than one category is the Flickr meme Great Moustaches of the Library of Congress. This phenomenon, which has been observed by the New York Times, involves taggers prowling the uploaded offspring of the Prints and Photographs Division for the most outrageous and oft-times graspable extremities of our male ancestry. One perusing Historic Sheet Music, 1800-1922 or Civil War Sheet Music in the Performing Arts Encyclopedia would find no less end to the handlebar goodness.

One Comment

  1. Maya
    April 7, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    That mustache was such a signature look that it seemed to represent much more than a facial style – perhaps some sort of class or personal statement.

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