False Find at Papermania
Last weekend I indulged in a photo buying binge. I had a reason. It was Papermania, the largest ephemera and photo show in New England. Had a great time and bought some really wonderful photos. Here’s one.
Take a close look at his right ear. You can see where the false hair loops over his ear. The beard is very different than his natural hair, but that’s not what tipped me off. It was the piece near his ear.
So why would a man wear a fake beard? Not all employers allowed their workers to have facial hair or perhaps this unidentified man couldn’t grow the beard of his dreams. Here’s picture proof that they existed.
Oliver B. DeMorat took this photo. According to Linda A. Ries and Jay W. Ruby’s book, Directory of Pennsylvania Photographers 1839-1900 (Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, 1999), he had a studio at 2 S. Eighth Street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from 1864-1887. This photo is from the early 1870s.