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Styles By Billblack barber pole, Hampton Village, Missouri. Photo by John Margolies, 1991.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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