Bowery barber shop shows 1935 N.Y.Published 8:48pm Wednesday, February 15, 2012
A while back I was given an old picture dated 1935 by a friend and reader of my column.
It was a nice clear picture of Blossom Restaurant in New York. Next to it was a barber shop with an open stairway going down to the shop in the basement.
Standing in the opening was the barber dressed in a white shirt and necktie and nice white barber coat.
Up on the street in front was a two-sectioned, old-fashioned barber pole that looked to be 12 feet tall at least.
The striped bottom half looked stationary, then there was an ornate 12-inch piece the top half of the pole sat on. This was enclosed with glass and I’m sure it turned electrically. On top of this was a large white globe (boy, I bet Pat would like one like it).
What really fascinated me was the 1935 prices listed on the signs in front of both of the businesses (gee, I was only 5 years old back then).
For just 10 cents, two eggs, potatoes and coffee, meatballs and beans, Vienna roast and green peas, franks and kraut and pigs feet and kraut.
Here are some 20-cent meals: beef steak and onions, corned beef and cabbage, roast sirloin, Yankee pot roast and roast leg of veal.
On the 15-cent menu, lamb stew, hamburger steak and onions, pork tenderloin, veal cutlet, baked pork and beans.
All the 15-cent dinners included coffee, tea or buttermilk.
If you wanted to splurge for 30 cents, you could get three large pork chops.
There were quite a few other things listed on the window and signs out on the street.
On the barber’s sign, haircut and shave, 30 cents; single haircut, 20 cents; shampoo, 20 cents; electric massage, 20 cents; ladies hair bob, 30 cents; children’s Buster Brown, 30 cents; bay rum and hot towel, 10 cents.
In the picture you could just see a little of the windows above both places and this was probably where the owners lived.
What I found in going through my files recently was an ad for the Wm. Laport Stage Line and U.S. Mail, carried from Dowagiac to Cassopolis (daily except Sunday).
Leaves Dowagiac at 9 a.m., arrives at Cassopolis 10:30. Returning leaves Cassopolis at 3 p.m., arriving at Dowagiac at 4:30.
Starting from post office, going by way of LaGrange.
William Laport was my great-grandpa.
Also, I found a little book called 1930 Pages of Time given to me on one of my birthdays.
National news: President Hoover seeks aid to beat back Depression. Twelfth anniversary of Prohibition sees alcoholism soaring. CIgarette smoking up by a billion over last year. Best movie, “All Quiet on the Western Front.” Music from 1930, “I Got Rhythm,” “Georgia on My Mind,” “Embraceable You” and “Body and Soul.”
1930 prices: new car, $610; new house, $7,146; loaf of bread, nine cents; gallon of gas, 10 cents; ounce of gold, $20.67; silver, $1.09; and life expectancy, 59.7 years.
Boy, I sure beat that at 82.
“Cardinal Charlie” Gill writes a nostalgic weekly column about growing up in the Grand Old City. E-mail him at email@example.com.