Wacky Wednesday


Times change and, with the times, so do styles.  There are fashions that people wear today that they could have never gotten away with fifty or sixty years ago.  Heck, there was a time when a woman who exposed her ankles in a dress might have gotten her arrested. Now, wearing a dress is unusual!  Well, one style that has definitely gone in the other direction is men wearing facial hair.  During the 1990's, the goatee was the big thing.  Today, it's full beards.  Back in the 1920's, it was Chaplin mustaches, as worn by Emanuel Rosenfeld in his larger-than-life presentation as one of the Pep Boys, the yellow-shirted car mechanics who to this day adorn many of their garages across the country and, notably for us, welcome tram riders in our car display in the Toy Box.

Emanuel, affectionately known as Manny (as in Manny, Moe and Jack) has a close cropped "toothbrush mustache," cropped on the edges and only extended about two or three inches over the upper lip. This conservative style was first introduced in the United States in the late-19th century, a symbol of the rigidity of industrialization and uniformity (no, we here at the blog didn't make this up, someone else may have, though). It swept the nation and Europe, and became hugely popular after Charlie Chaplin and Oliver Hardy wore them in their comedic movies. Alas, the toothbrush mustache lost its popularity during World War II, because of the close association it had with another proud wearer of it:  Adolf Hitler.  Now, we don't recommend wearing one anymore.  Unless you have silly Coke-bottle glasses and wear a yellow shirt with a big "P" on it.  Then, maybe....