Saturday, September 24, 2011

History Detective: the clues in the two barbershop photos

It was a lot of fun reading your responses to the Barbershop Photos mystery -- which of the two photos was taken first?  Here are the things I see -- let me know in the comments below if you agree.
Click on any image to enlarge
Palace Barber Shop, Kerrville
Palace Barber Shop, Kerrville
 Here are the differences I see in the two photos:

  1. The flooring is different.  While the flooring in the bottom photo looks relatively new, it is also a different pattern than the flooring in the photo above
  2. The top photo shows a date (1935) in the license, as well as a name (W. H. Toliver), for the barber in front.
  3. Of course, there are two beauticians in the top photo, along with a little curtained area where women could "get their hair did."
  4. Blades on the ceiling fan have been removed in the top photo.  (The brackets are visible, but the blades are gone.)
  5. Although you can see the reflections of two calendars in the bottom photo, neither is clear enough to decipher.
  6. The top photo shows a little shelf in the first barber's work station that is missing in the bottom photo.
I had a hunch the top photo was taken later than the bottom photo, but I was basing it solely on that shelf in the first work station.  There had to be another clue.  Because the pattern on the two different floors was different, I could not rely on that.  So I searched for another clue.
Looking at the back partition between the two photos, I noticed this:
Note where partition meets wall -- and the dark color of the wall paint.

Note the place where the partition once joined the wall.

For these reasons, I think the top photo above, taken around 1935, is newer than the photo below.  What do you think?  Please let me know in the comments below.

1 comment:

  1. You're saying the floor patter is different. To me it looked like the same pattern. I can still see what looks like a checkerboard pattern in the top photo, but to me it just looks heavily worn. That was what made me think it was the oldest. I never noticed the fan blades. Great catch on the partition.


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