Monday, June 16, 2008

Going Straight-Edge in an 1895 Barber Chair

1895 Barber Chair

I was in Toronto last weekend to attend a wedding. The day before the nuptials, the groom and I headed down to Truefitt and Hill, "Barbers to British Royalty Since 1805," for a straight-edge razor shave. I'd never had an old skool shave like this before, and T&H lays it on heavy with pomp and ceremony: Hot towels. Cold towels. Barbers in bow-ties. Italian operas playing in the background.

But the barbers' chairs were the highlight for me. The chair shown above was built in 1895, and I sat in it for 30 minutes while my whiskers were cut. It looked very steampunk, although I eventually concluded that the concept of "lumbar support" had not yet been invented when the chair was manufactured in the late 19th century.

And the shave? Smoooooooove!

Sweeney Todd
Truefitt & Hill, Toronto