The Decline of the Barber Pole

Barber Poles


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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