‘Happy Days are Hair Again’
In yesterday’s ‘The Sunday Times’, [20th May 2012], there was a fascinating article about Collections. It was titled ‘Cool, Charmed, Collected’ and was written by Caroline Allen. The article was about Irish people who collected various items. One of the sections came with the title ‘Happy Days are Hair Again’, and from reading it we learned of a Dublin Barber who has set about collecting classic Barber shop tools and accessories of his trade. Read on and find out what he found for sale in the BuyandSell paper -
In the cut-throat world of vintage barbershop collections, Liam Finnegan is up there with the best. Constant trawling through markets, antique shops and online has uncovered plenty of goodies which he displays in his museum at the Waldorf Barbershop on Westmoreland Street in Dublin. Finnegan who runs the business with his 39-year-old daughter, Linda, collects everything from 1920′s straight razors to shaving-foam machines and hairdryers from the 1950′s.
I worked at Lancaster Gate in London as a barber in the 1960′s, when the fashion was for long hair. When I came back to work in my father’s shop, I got rid of a lot of stuff, which I was raging about afterwards,” he says. “However, people brought me in bits and pieces and, when I opened up my own business, I got interested in collecting more,” he says.
The 66-year-old and his daughter have spent many early mornings hunting for bargains at the Newark International Antiques and Collectors Fair in England.
One time I found boxes of individual razors that had never been used and I tried one out on the actor Peter O’Toole,” he says.
Three hydraulic barber’s chairs that had been in the Park Lane Hotel in Piccadilly, London, were bought on an online auction site, as was a 1920′s Emil J Paider glass cabinet from America. Weighing scales, from an American barbershop and dating from the 1950′s, were purchased through Buy and Sell magazine and delivered from the seller in Connemara, Co.Galway, courtesy of a lorry-driver customer.
Even a visit to a football match in Glasgow, Scotland, resulted in the acquisition of a hot-towel steamer and hair-tonic container from an antique shop. Finnegan managed to shoehorn both items into a sports bag and bring them back on a plane as hand luggage.
Once the barber gets the pieces home, he consults his grandfather’s barbering book on how to operate them and this helps him to revive old treatments.
“Anywhere I go, I am on the lookout for beautiful pieces to add to my collection. It’s an obsession. I think I am at the stage where I have nearly everything – but then something else appears.”
What’s your trade?…Do you collect anything?
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Did you like this story? You may also like this lovely story of Frank Loughran, who was reunited with his very own trumpet via BuyandSell, 40 years of having to sell it to move to England.
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