The Thinking 
Housewife
 

The Athlete’s Face

January 15, 2010

  

Before the 1972 Oakland A’s hit the field, it was rare to see baseball players with beards or moustaches. The A’s brought a whole new look, one that continues in various forms to this day.

oakland_as

Team owner Charlie Finley offered a $300 prize to the player who could grow the most interesting facial hair and held “Moustache Day” at the park, offering free admission to anyone with a moustache. (Hey, it was the seventies.)  Rollie Fingers, shown below, won the prize. The fact that the A’s went on to win three World Series didn’t hurt their look.

Rollie_Fingers_list_view

Read More »

 

The Fighter’s Face

January 15, 2010

 

wwII-soldiers

 

Apropos of the recent discussions of beards and men, I was wondering why so few men in the 40s and 50s had facial hair. The reason was obvious, but I didn’t see it.

P.W. writes:

One of the main reasons that beards fell out of favor in the 20th Century was for military reasons, especially during the World War I years and beyond. 

This is because of the invention of poison/nerve gas. Men with beards and a lot of facial hair (mustaches, etc) are not able to obtain an adequate seal on their gas-mask, thus beards were abandoned first by the military so that their gas-masks would work correctly. Beards were discarded by the military for purely practical reasons and that trend then trickled out in to the general populace. 

Read More »