All Things Maine
All Things Maine

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Portland's Fastest Barbers

In his 1906 autobiography, John M. Todd relates the boasts of some of Portland's 260 barbers:
Charles C. Haskann, the king of left handed barbers, once hauled off eighteen dollars on a Saturday while working in Portland. Fred Cook at the Preble, one of the swiftest wielders, raked in the cool sum of fifty dollars during Grand Army week. J. B. Powers is slow but thunderingly sure. J. J. Sullivan says he pushed the steel over a man's face in a minute and a half, bear in mind I am not telling you any fish stories. Luke V. Whalen, the only official minute barber in the city, swears that by all that is green on earth that he lathered and shaved a man over twice in just one minute, and that the sum total of his earnings on one third of July was nineteen dollars and thirty-five cents, working up to two o'clock Sunday morning, and "you tell that thirty-two-second fellow," said Luke, "I'd like to meet him down back of some old barn some dark night." [Link]


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