Categories: Victorian

by Jeanne Gehret


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Daniel Read Anthony resize2At writer’s group last night, one of my friends gently noted that I seemed to have a preoccupation with hair. Well, yes. One easy way to differentiate people is to mention how they wear their hair–at least when they’re women. But how many different ways can you describe a man’s short hair other than to note its color, length, and amount of natural wave?

One easy solution to this dilemma is to describe not the hair on their heads but that on their faces. Nineteenth-century images show a variety of facial shrubbery, from the easy-care bushy sideburns to the high-maintenance pencil mustache.

So this morning, when I am eager to incorporate all my friends’ comments into my manuscript, I’ll treat you to my research foray into men’s beards. According to photos I’ve collected of D.R. from his early 30s on, he seems to have preferred a full beard and mustache. By the way, he may not have been such a looker in this photo (probably taken in his 60s), but you should have seen him three decades earlier. It’s easy to understand why Annie would’ve fallen in love with him on sight!

Enjoy the link of Wily Whiskers. And please, if you see any toothbrush mustaches at the mall, drop me a reply in the comment box!

Photo of Daniel Read Anthony used with permission from Kansas State Historical Society.

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