Full-bearded man in Aurora, Illinois

Click here to view it larger.

What it is:

Cabinet card measuring 4.25 x 6.5 inches.

What I know about it:

Photographer is Taylor of Aurora, Illinois.  Otherwise undated and unidentified.


I recently read a murder mystery in which one of the suspects disguised himself by simply shaving off the full beard and mustache everybody in the village had always seen him wearing, so that even when the authorities caught up with him, they didn’t immediately recognize him.   (It turned out he was innocent anyway.  He just had some other reason to be on the run.)  Soon after finishing that book, I pulled this picture out and considered it.  In the story, it was speculated that the character always wore a beard to mask an unattractive mouth and weak chin.  Naturally, that colored my view of this man.  Is he hiding something?  Is he following a fashion?  (Such beards were more common then, after all.)  Is he married to a woman who thinks beards are sexy?  It’s probably impossible to know.  But the beard is certainly one of his most prominent physical characteristics.

10 comments on “Full-bearded man in Aurora, Illinois”

  1. Are there really any woman who’d find a beard like that sexy? I think he is more likely to have something to hide!

    • I think that no matter what the physical attribute, there will be somebody somewhere who finds it attractive. And I say thank goodness for that. Meanwhile, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have something to hide. 🙂

    • Sexy, not really…but back then, he might have been a real ladies man. It used to be that men would go out of their way to prevent baldness, now it is quite fashionable. And, if you have the right head shape, you might be considered a hottie!

      • I once read somewhere that not only did men wear wigs and toupees back in the day (like in colonial times), but that men even went so far as to sprinkle sawdust on their shoulders to mimic dandruff!

      • Sawdust, oh my!

      • I know, sort of jaw-dropping from our perspective, right? I can’t remember where I read that, and I haven’t seen reference to it since. But apparently in the days before dandruff shampoo, if you were going to pretend you had hair, it made sense, at least to some, to carry the illusion to its logical extreme.

  2. Such an interesting story you’ve put with this photograph, Matt. And I laughed when I read about the sawdust for fake dandruff! Wow…I guess they may as well be convincing if they want people to think they have real hair. Very interesting topic, and a great photo! Somehow, this man does look like the type who would wink at every woman who looked his way. But of course, I could be way off. 🙂

  3. Those are definitely twinkling eyes.

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