Saturday, June 5, 2010

A Young Barber

My barber grandfather, William Carl Robert "Bob" Meinzen, of an earlier post, is in the above left photo and is the man on the left in the above right photo. He was born in 1892 and by 1911 he was working as a barber.

I believe both these photos were taken outside 383 Sixth Avenue, Steubenville, Ohio. The 1913 Steubenville city directory lists that address as his place of employment.

Notice the cords on either side of the doorway. My guess is they're for awnings. Also, in the photo on the right, a decorative screen door has been screwed into place.

In the first photo, if you can enlarge it enough to see details, notice...
...that Grampa's sleeves are rolled under instead of up on the outside.
...his boots with the buttons on the sides.
...that he's holding scissors and a comb.

In the second photo, I don't know who the other people are but I suspect that the man holding the child is Grampa's brother-in-law, John Hendricks, husband of Hannah Meinzen. Hannah died in September, 1910, leaving her husband with 3 small girls: Edna, 2 1/2; Zerelda, 15 months; and newborn Anna. If it is John, the child is probably Edna. The photo is undated.

In the group photo, notice...
...the eye contact with the lens of the camera.
...the fob on Grampa's right pocket. It looks like a little dog.
...that his boots lace up instead of buttoning on the side.
...the brick sidewalk.

What interesting details do you notice in these photos that I missed?

This post is being shared at the
Sepia Saturday blog, where you can find links to others' old photos and stories.


  1. great photos and annotations

    I like her little collar and button up shoes
    and i noticed the fancy hinges...

  2. I noticed the spittoon inside the barber shop in the second window.

    I wonder if the number "17" on the police officer's badge and hat would allow you to confirm the location. Would that have been the precinct number? Could he have been a friend or relative, and if so, would there be records of the officers of that police precinct?

    I wonder if a barber would roll his sleeves up backward so that little hairs wouldn't collect in them over the course of a day.

    Great photos--I really love workplace photos especially. They're hard to find, and you learn so much about people from them.

  3. Wonderful pictures! I really like the policeman and the natty gent in the center of the group photo. The young man on the right might be wearing a paper or celluloid collar. Could he be a butcher's assistant? The package he's holding suggests that to me.

  4. Great photographs. I am reluctant to take up your challenge of noticing interesting detail - you are a master of this art and I doubt anything gets past you - but I was intrigued by the size of the policeman compared to the others in the second picture.

  5. In the photo on the right it looks like there is an urn behind Grandpa inside the building. It also looks like fall because of the leaves on the ground. I wonder if the guy on the far right is a butcher or baker...

  6. Hi, all --

    Thank you for coming to look at my photographs. I appreciate it. You are all so observant! I actually didn't look as closely at these photos as I usually do because it was so late Saturday night when I posted.

    Lettuce, thanks for pointing out the hinges. I think it's so interesting how the screen door seems to be a summer addition.

    Kerry, thanks for the suggestion to look into the "17" on the officer's badge and hat. I hadn't thought about investigating into that but it's a great idea.

    About his sleeves - Grampa always wore them turned up to the inside and my thought was exactly the same as yours - to avoid catching hair and carrying it home.

    Vicki - Yes, that is an interesting little man in the center. I think he's holding a cigar. I so wish someone had written names and a date on the backs of photos.

    I also wondered about the object in the hand of the man with the apron. My first thought was a bottle, but it doesn't look like it gets narrower. I think you could be right about him being a butcher (though he probably hasn't been to work yet considering how clean his apron is).

    Alan - Great observation about the height of the policeman. He looks more than a head taller than the little man in the middle. Wonder what his mom fed him when he was a child to help him grow so tall! And of course the hat helps his height - more authority for a policeman....

    Natasha, great observation about the leaves on the ground. I wish I knew if the man on the right were a butcher or baker.

    And how I really, really wish my family had put names and dates on their photos!

    Thank you all again for visiting and commenting. I appreciate it.

  7. Great photos & a good eye for detail. I also wondered about the aproned man--butcher does seem like a reasonable guess.

  8. I enjoyed having you point out salient details -- it made me take a much longer look than I would have otherwise. I wondered about the apron-man, but I'd guess baker or food preparer of some kind rather than butcher. . . because he's wearing a dress shirt and tie and I would think a dress shirt would get ruined by the process of butchering.

  9. I love these photos, and all the interesting details in them! Thanks for sharing them.

  10. Yes I noticed the taller man (police) with the hard high hat and badge. Also the paving was unusual with the bricks slanted. Your grandfather was so handsome. Its funny but as we age no one ever thinks of us as being a young gorgous person.
    Great memories.


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