Friday, April 17, 2015

Plein-Air Barbering

Lee Thompson cutting unknown person's hair.
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of Eldon Harms.

The man standing is Lee Thompson, Eva's only brother; born in 1902, he was six years her senior.

I don't know when Lee picked up the barbering trade. The 1920 Census describes him as a laborer on the home farm (his parents'). I can't find him in the 1930 Census. In the 1940 Census we find him living in Hobart with his wife, Doris (maiden name unknown), and 14-year-old daughter, Betty. Lee is a barber with his own shop, Doris a "beauty operator" with her own shop. They live and work at 348 Main Street, where they have lived (and perhaps worked) since 1935.

A Hobart city directory for 1940-41 at the Hobart Historical Society Museum includes a classified listing under "Barbers" for Lee Thompson at 348 Main St. That is the only directory I could find listing Lee or Doris.

We know very little about this picture: no date, no location, no identity for the man getting his hair cut. The fact that Lee is cutting hair in the open air on a farm suggests he didn't have his own shop at the time … though I suppose he could still have made house calls.

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