William Marvy Company, the last known manufacturer in North America of the poles, typically sells 500 of them each year, down from 5,100 in the company’s late-1960s heyday.
Bob Marvy, a second-generation owner of the St. Paul, Minn., company, dates the industry’s slowdown back to an unlikely source: The Beatles. The Fab Four and their trendy mop-tops ruined it for barbers, he thinks. Men who previously went to barber shops weekly for their clean-cut looks started waiting two or even three weeks between trims.
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