The Barbers’ Recipe Book for the Use of Barbers Especially; Giving the Formulae and Most Approved Methods for Making the Various Preparations Used by the Trade. Also a Valuable Collection of Miscellaneous Recipes and Useful Information.
“Written for the financial and intellectual welfare of barbers.” (Preface)
Author Schenk declares this is the first [American] book of its kind published solely for the barber trade. While incorrect, The Barbers’ Recipe Book was in fact one of a small body of 19th-century American instructional books with content devoted to teaching those wanting to become barbers and learning about men’s toiletries.¹
The book contains about 220 recipes for use in the barber shop including shampoos, shaving fluids and soaps, styptic powders, pomades, hair dyes, face preparations, hair restorers, “cosmetiques,” perfumes, colognes, cold cream, freckle lotions, finger nail polish, hair oils, hair curling fluids, mustache waxes, depilatories, etc. In addition, there are many recipes concerning facial and scalp hygiene such as a recipe to clean hair brushes, dandruff preparations including “sea foam”—“for cleansing and freeing the head from scurf and dandruff,” sunburn lotions, tooth powders, recipes for ailments a bit too unpleasant to mention, etc.
The barbering recipe section contains one handwritten recipe—presumably by a working barber—for an alcohol-based “tonic shampoo wash” tipped onto page 74. The recipe’s ingredients include 40 drops of oil of cinnamon. The author of the book encouraged such innovative recipes outside of his proposed canon: “Barbers usually have some spare time during working hours, when they can make their own preparations, saving from fifty to seventy-five per cent., which in a very short time will save them the cost of this work.” (Preface)
In addition, the book contains nearly 200 recipes for general medical purposes including about 25 recipes for venereal diseases. There is also a medical glossary and a list of poisons and their antidotes. Other recipes within are for household use. Among these further 115 recipes are flavoring extracts, brandies, cleaning products, inks, glues, cigar flavorings, etc. There are three pages of ads for barber supplies at the end.
Rare. OCLC locates Newberry Library only.
Description: The Barbers’ Recipe Book for the Use of Barbers Especially; Giving the Formulae and Most Approved Methods for Making the Various Preparations Used by the Trade. Also a Valuable Collection of Miscellaneous Recipes and Useful Information.
Buffalo: Printing House of Matthews, Northrup & Co., 1884. First and only edition. xix, , 21–192pp. + pp ads. Sm. 8vo. Dark green pebbled cloth; gilt spine titling. Tipped-in manuscript recipe addition on p74. Binding rubbed at extremities and with a few shallow bumps at tips; light stains to boards; old strengthening at hinges; endpapers creased with a few chips and short tears to fore edges; very good.
Note. 1. For those American books using the word “Barber” or “Barbers” in their title that predate this book,we locate two: The Barbers’ and Hair-Dressers’ Private Recipe Book (1868) and J. Falke’s Manual, or, Self-Instructor in the Art of Chemistry for Barbers, Hair Dressers, Dyers and Druggists (1882).