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Tag: facial hair friday

Facial Hair Friday: Sir Frederick Bruce

Today’s blog post comes from Katrina Wood, a summer intern with the Public Affairs Office.

As I took a self-guided tour of Embassy Row in Washington, DC, and paused at the statue of Winston Churchill at the British Embassy on Massachusetts Avenue, I thought of all the diplomats and representatives who have made homes in Washington.

Sir Frederick Bruce was a highly valued diplomat in Queen Victoria’s service. Somewhat surprisingly, he seems to be portrayed in a fashion slightly more casual than his lengthy political and diplomatic career would suggest.

Sir Frederick held posts from colonial secretary and consul-general to envoy extraordinary and chief superintendent of British trade in China. He was a native of Scotland, born in Broomhall, Fifeshire.

In 1865, when Sir Frederick was the British Minister in China,  he received a new assignment as Minister to the United States. He arrived in New York only one week before the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln and never officially met the President.

The diplomat did not survive the President  very long. Sir Frederick died in Boston on September 19, 1867. His obituary in the New York Times praised him for performing his ministerial functions “faithfully and earnestly, but with no needless demonstration and no extra-official zeal. . . . His genial hospitality will long be remembered by those who had the opportunity of … [ Read all ]

Facial Hair Friday: Mustaches and Moral Turpitude

It was a long, hard journey to the United States in the early 20th century, but even a successful voyage did not guarantee that the immigrant would be able to enter or stay. Deportation was a threat. When immigrants were deported, it could be because of serious crime like murder or petty crime like theft. The files stated “excluded as a person having been convicted of a crime of moral turpitude.”

But how to stop immigrants from reentering under different names or identities? When they were deported, they were photographed, and their physical characteristics were recorded in writing, from their hat size to the condition of their teeth. (Only Chinese immigrants were also consistently photographed by the authorities, and they resented this suggested link between themselves and criminals.)

Why were these two individuals, Francesco Zaccaro and Dubas Wasyl, deported?

Zaccaro (“small, thin lips, medium chesnut mustache”) arrived from Italy on the SS Hamburg on February 17, 1907, and was headed to his mother-in-law’s house in New York City. However, he was deported and back on the SS Hamburg just three days later. He was excluded due to his crime of moral turpitude: He had served eight days in prison for “applying vile names to a woman.”

Wasyl (“small, thick lips, chesnut mustache”) came from Austria on the SS Kroonland. He arrived on November 13, 1906. But … [ Read all ]

Facial Hair Friday: Vagabond Goatee

It gets harder to find worthy examples of bearded and mustachioed Americans in our holdings after the first decades of the 20th century, when facial hair went out of fashion. Fortunately for us, we can look into a decade known for groovy facial hair: the 1970s.

This is one of our most popular images, though I wonder if it’s because of the puppy and the patchwork pants rather than the scraggly goatee. The original caption identifies the man as a hitchhiker on Route 66. He certainly seems pretty relaxed despite standing barefoot on rocks that I presume are hot from the Arizona sun.

This photograph is unusual for more reasons than its retro facial hair. It was taken by Charles O’Rear, who was a photographer in the DOCUMERICA project launched by the new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1971. Photographers were assigned by geographic region to document what they saw destroying America’s landscape and natural resources: mining, air pollution, garbage.

Charles O’Rear, however, had a slightly more cheerful assignment. At one point during his time as a contributing photographer, he was sent to the healthiest place in America at that time: southeastern Nebraska. His work there documents an area that had the lowest death rates for American white males.

O’Rear went on to work as a photographer for National Geographic for 25 years. But you might recognize one … [ Read all ]

Facial Hair Friday: A really big mustache—and bathtub

Oh, President Taft. It was your birthday yesterday, and I just had to feature you here on Facial Hair Friday.

You were one of the few Presidents that seemed to stick my brain when I was studying for the AP History exam. Important dates, key battles, our founding documents—I could barely keep those facts stuck to my teenage grey matter, but I always remembered you, Taft, because of your bathtub. Sadly, there was no question about your powder room fixtures on the exam.

When I joined the National Archives, the “BIG!” exhibit was in its final weeks. I walked through and saw the many big things we have in the National Archives (like a huge globe and the 13-foot-long Articles of Confederation), and then I turned the corner and there it was.

You see, the reason that I remembered Taft so well was that our teacher mentioned he had a bathtub specially made for him due to his size. Yes, kids can be cruel. (And Taft would have been familiar with this—remarks about his weight were something he was all too familiar with growing up.) And there in the middle of the exhibit was the bathtub.

The bathtub was a replica of the one Taft had built. Taft weighed 340 pounds and stood almost six feet tall. Two months after being elected, the USS North Carolina was outfitted for Taft for his trip to inspect the … [ Read all ]

Thursday Photo Caption Contest

What can you say about a man, his accordion, a clock, and a bottle? We went to guest judge and social media coordinator Jeannie Chen, who once featured a infant President Ford holding a tiny accordion on the Presidential Libraries tumblr blog.

Congratulations to Mickey! Your caption won Jeannie’s heart and got that Croce tune stuck in her head. Check your email for a code for 15% off in our eStore.

The man in the photograph has been featured before on Pieces of History in this Facial Hair Friday post. William Duncan was the  founder of  Metlakahtla, a Utopian community in Alaska. The original caption reads: “William Duncan late in life, exhibiting to friends for photographing the canvas, hammock, clock, water bottle, and accordian [sic] used by him on his voyage to Victoria, B.C., in 1856-57., 1916 – 1917″ (ARC 297897)

Last week featured an accordion, and this week we are featuring another strange device. Give us your wittest caption in the comments below![ Read all ]