Sunday, September 18, 2011

History Detective photo challenge

Last week Katherine Turley brought by an album of photographs from her husband's family, which included the Lowrances, one of the earliest settlers of our area.  Included in the photographs were images from the Palace Barber Shop, which was in the 700 block of Water Street, next door to Mrs. Salter's Kerrville Mountain Sun.
Here's the challenge: which of these photos do you think was taken first?  What evidence do you see in the photo?  Please put your answers in the comments section below.
Click on either image to enlarge
Palace Barber Shop, Kerrville

Palace Barber Shop, Kerrville


  1. I think the photo that shows only men was taken first. My guess is the Beauty Shop was added to the back of the barber shop when women started getting their hair cut. I also think the guy in the second chair in the all-men photo is the same guy in the first chair in the photo with the men and he's definitely aged.

    I guess if you could zoom in closer you could probably read the calendar on the wall or the licenses on the mirror.... but I couldn't get in that close. There are lots of clues in the mirror reflection as well.

  2. When I was talking about the guy in the first or second chair, I meant the barber.... not the customer. Although, one of the customers looks like the same guy but am not positive.

  3. I'm guessing the bottom one is first because there is an addition to the drawer in the top picture. I'm thinking that extra shelf was added later (though it could have been taken out later, I suppose.)

  4. Second photo is older. Floor is more worn in the top photo. And the barbers, if the same people, look older in the bottom photo. And blades have been taken off the fan in top photo, which would probably indicate it is later.

  5. just by visualization I couldnt come up with anything other than it must've been summer in picture #1 because the ceiling fan blades dont show up in the picture and mustve been turning fast, and it's 11:17 a.m..
    on second look, the floor is in worse shape in pic#1 and obviously has had more traffic. there has been a cabinet added under the drawer in pic #2 that isnt ther in #1. so I say pic #2 is the older photo.

  6. i'd say the one with the gals is more recent as there are 2 certificates on the mirror and the floor has seen more traffic.

    if it's the same barber (left) then he doesn't look any happier with time.


  7. I think the second one (with just men) was taken first. In the other picture, the flooring looks much more worn (at first thought it was newer replaced flooring in the only-men shot, but it's the same the picture with the women looks like older flooring.) Also in the shot with the women, the ceiling fan is missing its arms whereas they are present in the only-men shop.

    I could see a date of 1935 in the shot with women, but couldn't find one to compare it with in the only-men shot.


  8. In the first photo, the year 1935 can be seen on the barber's certificate/license that is hanging over the wall mirror (behind the front barber).

    I believe that a barber's license must be renewed every year which means the time that the photo was taken could be anytime between 1934 (if the license was renewed in 1934 and expires in 1935) and 1936 (if the license was renewed in 1935 and expires in 1936). Of course, if a barber's license must be renewed less frequently than every year then the 1934 to 1936 guess is invalid.

    The second photo has an advertisement for the Guadalupe Cafe posted on the back wall. If I knew when the Cafe opened and closed it might help date the second photo.

    Finally, the back customer in the second photo looks so very familiar. I knew this man many years ago, but for the life of me, I cannot put a name to his face. Is it one of the Schreiner's?

    If we could identify him, or the other customers in the two photos, it might help us date the photos.

    I give up.

    Joe, please don't leave us hanging. Tell us what you know?


Please remember this is a rated "family" blog. Anything worse than a "PG" rated comment will not be posted. Grandmas and their grandkids read this, so please, be considerate.



Related Posts with Thumbnails