Anderson Family History

1930s South Dakota Haircuts

Ernest and Lennia Carlson lived in the first place west of the Center, South Dakota store and on the north side of the road. Ernest was a man of many talents. Besides farming, he also did carpentry work and also was equipped to do barbering. His shears were the squeeze type to keep the cutter bar going back and forth. His scissors were the pointed ones with the extra finger-lever to make them easier to keep snipping and the black tapered barbers comb completed his tool chest.

Whenever I was in need of a haircut, Mom would give me a dime to put safely in my pocket and send me off to see Ernest. It was a walk of a couple blocks to their place, and I looked forward to getting my haircut because Linnea always had some cookies or a piece of cake for me when I was finished. Ernest had a tin can about 12 inches in diameter and probably 7 or 8 inches tall that used to contain marshmallows. This tin was placed on a chair and I would climb up and sit on top of it. Then a barbers cloth, made from an old flour sack, was pinned around my neck and Ernest went to work.

The hand-powered clippers had a tendency to pull and that part was only endured because of the treat I would get later. When finished I would fish through my pocket and find the dime and give it to Ernest. Then I would have my cookies or cake and trudge on home all trimmed and looking neat for another few weeks.

I think Ernest also cut the hair of both my brothers, but I don’t remember if they got by for a dime a cut or what. They probably didn’t get cake and cookies like I did.

By Allan Anderson, 2005.

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