Barry’s Shine Parlor, July 1929

Houston Chronicle
Houston Chronicle

So much of this pre-Depression image is foreign to me. I’ve never worn a swimming cap in public. Actually, the woman near the eyeglasses display is wearing a cloche hat, designed to let the public know that her hair was bobbed in Flapper style and she was au courant. I bet she could Charleston in that dress like nobody’s business.

I’ve also never had my shoes shined. Up top, it advertises the service as free. Surely you’d have to be buying some of those Goodrich rubber heels to get the deal. And you’d need to tip.

“Pressing while you wait”–never done that, either. I’ll come back later, thanks. And along the far right side, it reads “Heyers Prickly Heat Powder.”

Have you ever applied prickly heat powder to your rash? Gotten your shoes shined? Bobbed your hair? Used Flapper terms like “bee’s knees” and “cat’s pajamas”? Lived through the summer of 1929, believing all was well, only to have the stock market crash three months later?

10 thoughts on “Barry’s Shine Parlor, July 1929”

  1. After looking at the picture I see they misspelled your name. It say’s Kirby’s Pressing Parlor. In the parlance of the times I guess that would make you the Bee’s Knees.

    And prickly heat, or heat rash of any kind would certainly be unpleasant. There must be an App for that these days, because I doubt anyone wants to carry powder in their purse. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. If only we could see what color that cloche hat is. Pale pink perhaps? I made a poptail (cocktail popsicle 🙂 ) once called Bees Knees. I especially like you’re commentary. Poignant at the end. I wonder what we don’t know now that we will know in another three months or so? Make that 7 months.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It does make you wonder about the elections and what could happen under a president who makes impulsive decision. That wouldn’t be the bee’s knees at all. We would have to eat your poptails (you should blog about that) just to deal with it.


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