Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Multiplication du Photographe, c.1870There are those who clearly believe you cannot have too much of a good thing. Especially when that good thing happens to be you. Painter. Photographer. Sculptor. Man with a beard.

Which, through an only slightly disjointed sequence of related thoughts, leads me to the question: If there were more than one of you, would each have the same beard? Would the collective you take the opportunity to wear a variety of beards and perhaps experiment with an assortment of facial adornments or do you, like this man, feel that your beard is already your ideal and worthy of being duplicated exactly?

What would you do?

What would you do?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Big Hairy Deal

Last week, I had the distinct pleasure of attending the first Steampunk World's Fair in Piscataway, New Jersey. Being steampunk, there were plenty of fine, Victorian beards on display. There were plenty of things that pass for beards in the Twenty-first Century as well. To separate the metal from the dross, there was held an Epic Bear and Moustache Competition.

It was my first experience with entering myself and my beard into such a thing and I am humbled that so many people had such a difficult time choosing between me and the man who ultimately won the grand prize through his astronomical skill at the sport of rochambeau. Truly, his moustache, which stood a full five inches out from his face and from which he had scurrilously cut an additional four inches before coming to the event, was fully worthy of all accolades.

Observe the competition.

The Contestants

There were only a half dozen or so to enter the competition but this should in no way diminish the very fine facial adornments that wereto be found elsewhere throughout the convention. Many beards and moustaches of all classes and vareties were to be seen in the halls of the hotel, though I will note a higher percentage of friendly mutton chops than perhaps any other style as it would seem that the chops are seen a century later as somewhat indicative of the period.

I wonder if there was ever any sort of statistical analysis made of the prevelance of particular styles of beards at the end of the 19th Century.

Next week, I attend the World Steam Expo, another opportunity to witness the revival of the nearly lost art of pogontrophy.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Super chops

Waterville Super ChopsBehold, all ye of thin and scraggly facial adornment! Base ruffians! Poseurs! Girly men! Despair, those who have not shaved for the week, exfoliated their chins and dared called the result mutton chops. These! These are the chops of a super hero!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Mr. George West

George WestThough last week's gentleman was fine looking, the mutton chops worn by Mr. West of San Francisco seem better realized. I believe it has much to do with the consistent continuity across the entirety of the beard. A magnificent piece of work.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Friendly Mutton Chops

Minneapolis Friendly Mutton ChopsFriendly mutton chops are a chops and mustache combination, friendly because they meet in the middle. This Minnesotan might have settled with only a mustache and, with his clean good looks, would have turned many a lady's head. But he chose not only mutton chops but an exceptional set of mutton chops, ensuring that all heads will turn.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Wide chops

Providence Mutton ChopsThese mutton chops seem ready to lift the wearer far above the mundane world. I dream of having a beard like this.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


Bostonian Mutton ChopsNow these are some mutton chops to be proud of. This distinguished gentleman has clearly spent quite a number of years with this style of beard. Yet, that is not all. His expression clearly speaks to his forward thinking and confidence that his beard style will be long remembered.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Mutton Chops in Newburgh, New YorkSideburns are one thing but mutton chops are something much, much more. Of course, you couldn't tell by the examples that parade around today that dare call themselves mutton chops. Barren shadows of a once magnificent history.

Case in point, the popular character of graphic novella and kinetoscope, Wolverine. (I will not sully this fine company with a tintype of of his anemic beard.) While he is assuredly overflowing with manly vim and vigor, his so-called mutton chops look as if he has merely neglected to shave for a week or so. Is this what passes for mutton chops in this century?

Poppycock! The New Yorker herin presented has mutton chops to be proud of. And what's more, in the following weeks I will present even more impressive examples by men who truly have "The Chops."

Saturday, March 13, 2010


Being such a rakish style of beard, one would think to find more examples of the famous Van Dyke. Alas, photographic examples have been notoriously difficult to come by. But we must thank the State of Ohio yet again for another fine gentleman with a fine beard.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

All the better to hear you with

Neckbeard from Carrollton, OHThe neckbeard is an interesting adornment in that the wearer takes the care to shave the sensitive cheeks and the challenging edges above the lip and along the jawline but grows the beard on the neck, perhaps the easiest place to shave. He has obviously chosen this look specifically and not merely grown a beard out of some distaste for the act of shaving.

Contemporary commentary on the neckbeard derisively implies that "nerds" choose this style to conceal a double or weak chin but an investigation of cabinet cards form the Century of the Beard shows no such correlation. I can't speculate on the actual reasons for choosing the neckbeard but these gentlemen of the late 19th Century had clearly not chosen it to conceal obesity and they were most assuredly not "nerds".

I conjecture that those who heap such scorn upon the neckbeard only wish they could be manly enough to grow such an accessory and still retain the dignity of the Ohioan pictured here.

But, on a completely unrelated note. . . what is it with Ohioans? Last week I posted a picture of a man with a unique pair of eyes, this man has himself some impressive ears. But, again, this man has chosen the neckbeard when some nice sideburns might have diminished their prominence. He is clearly proud of his ears and his beard.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

The eyes of Ohio are upon you

OhioanOne can't help but wonder what it is about this Ohioan's eyes. I know, this site is all about the beards,and I will agree that this man has a mighty fine circle beard, one whose magnificence I hope to emulate in my later years, but my attention can't help but be drawn to his mismatched eyes.

The one more open than the other; is it simply a matter of the muscles of his eyelids? Is he reacting to a difference in lighting? They do not seem to be focused on the same point in space. Could one of them be glass? Look at each one separately and they seem full of life and so, based on no evidence whatsoever, I conclude that his eyelids are merely different.