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Thread: Straight shaving during the Civil War.

  1. #1
    Senior Member MajorEthanolic's Avatar
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    Default Straight shaving during the Civil War.

    When I was in Afghanistan I got into reading journals from Civil War soldiers. I came across this passage that I thought some of you might find amusing. As much as we complain about the sharpness of our razors, can you imagine a year (or years!) in the field without proper honing tools?

    From Hard Tack & Cofee:

    Nearly every organization had its barber in established
    camp. True, many men never used the razor in the service, but allowed a shrubby,
    straggling growth of hair
    and beard to grow, as if
    to conceal them from the enemy in time of battle. Some
    more carried their own kit of tools and shaved them-
    selves, frequently shedding innocent blood in the service
    of their country while undergoing the operation. But
    there was yet a large number left who, whether from
    lack of skill in the use or care of the razor, or from want
    of inclination, preferred to patronize the camp barber. This
    personage plied his vocation inside the tent in cold or
    stormy weather, but at other times took his post in rear
    of the tent, where he had improvised a chair for the com-
    fort (?) of his victims. This chair was a product of home
    manufacture. Its framework was four stakes driven into
    the ground, two long ones for the back legs, and two
    shorter ones for the front. On this foundation a super-
    structure was raised which made a passable barber's chair.
    But not all the professors who presided at these chairs were
    finished tonsors, and the back of a soldier's head whose liair
    had been " shingled " by one of them was likely to show
    each course of the shingles with painful distinctness. The
    razors, too, were of the most barbarous sort, like the " trust
    razor" of the old song with which the Irishman got his
    " Love o' God Shave."

  2. #2
    Senior Member guitstik's Avatar
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    Jun 2014
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    Cool info but from the title I thought you were speaking from personal experience.
    SRP. Where the Wits aren't always as sharp as the Razors

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