Tri-Boro Barber School, 264 Bowery by Berenice Abbott (c. 1935-39)

The photograph titled “Tri-Boro Barber School, 264 Bowery” was captured by Berenice Abbott sometime around 1935-39. It depicts an exterior view of a barber school on the Bowery in New York City.

In the image, the barber school is showcased with a prominent display window featuring large, bold lettering that reads “TRI-BORO BARBER SCHOOL” and “WORLD’S UP-TO-DATE SYSTEM.” The price of a haircut and shave is advertised on the window and a sandwich board sign as “HAIRCUT 10¢ SHAVE 5¢.” A man, presumably either a barber or a customer, is standing in the doorway, providing a human element to the scene. The storefront is characterized by its striped awning and the intricate patterns created by shadows of fire escapes casting onto the façade and sidewalk. The photograph captures a slice of New York City life during the mid-1930s, showing not only the aesthetic of the time but also the economic conditions, indicated by the low cost of services advertised.

Other Photographs from Berenice Abbott

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