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Styles By Billblack barber pole, Hampton Village, Missouri. Photo by John Margolies, 1991. http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/mrg.04742

Shave and a Haircut: The Blog

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The barber pole is an internationally recognized symbol of the barbering trade. In my latest Flickr album, Shave and a Haircut, you will see a small selection of images of barber poles from the Prints and Photographs Division. The collections hold many more photos than I could use in the album.

This is the kind of barber pole that I remember from my youth:

Barber pole (manufactured by the Marvy Company), Minneapolis, Minnesota. Photo by John Margolies, 1984. http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/mrg.01748

There are many other types of barber poles represented in P&P holdings. Painted wooden poles were sometimes used to great effect:

Barber poles, Belle Fourche, South Dakota. Photo by Russell Lee, November 1937. http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/fsa.8a22420

Much less traditional is this Volkswagen decorated in the style of a barber pole:

Look Sharp Barber Shop sign (painted 1969 Volkswagen), Yuma, Arizona. Photo by John Margolies, 2003. http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/mrg.00608

In 1941, Jack Delano, working for the Farm Security Administration, took this photo of a barbershop in Puerto Rico:

Bayamon, Puerto Rico. Barber shop. Photo by Jack Delano, December 1941. http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/fsa.8c09314

The four painted depictions of barber poles on the shop’s open doors are eye-catching, even in black and white.

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