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The Barber’s Chair

The Barber's Chair

In the late 1950s, US-based barber chair manufactures sold about 10,000 chairs a year to the 100,000 barber shops. Chicago-based Emil J. Paidar Company was a leading manufacturer of barber chairs in the late 1950s (Belmont and American Barber Chair Company from 1948 to 1956 whose chairs were spinoffs of the Koken chair). Starting in 1957, Belmont joined Osaka, Japan’s Takara Belmont Company began importing almost exact duplicates of Paidar chairs—at 20%-30% less cost. In June 1969 Takara purchased the Koken Barber Chair building and production equipment in St. Louis Mo and in 1970 they purchased the Koken name, trademarks and patents this purchase was the main reason that by 1970, Takara had 70% of the US market, beating out Paidar who once held the same amount.
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The Barber's Chair

Buy-Rite offers a variety of barber chairs to meet your needs. Our barber chair selection ranges from affordable chairs to high-end models featuring leather and wood grain. Many of our barber chairs are also available in over 40 colors. No matter which model barber chair you’re looking for, Buy-Rite Beauty is committed to offering the best price available, guaranteed!
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The Barber's Chair

One-chair or single-chair barbershops are small, usually independent, barbershops that have only one barber chair available to customers. This is an older tradition in the barbering business that is slowly fading out as the last generation of barbers begins to retire and few younger barbers step up to fill the roles. One-chair barbershops serve one customer at a time and provide a one-on-one barber experience, whereas multi-chair barbershops serve many clients at once and get clients in and out faster, so they can make more money by serving more clients concurrently. Some salons have also incorporated the single-chair barbershop model into their businesses.
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The Barber's Chair

Barber chairs in engravings from the Civil War era share many features with modern chairs, including high seating, upholstery, and a footrest. The first factory-manufactured chairs date to around 1850. The first one-piece reclining barber chair with an attached footrest was patented in 1878 by the Archer Company of Saint Louis. Archer quickly followed it with a chair that raised and lowered mechanically. Eugene Berninghaus of Cincinnati improved on Archer’s design with the first reclining and revolving chair, the Paragon. Theodore Koch of Chicago incorporated all of these innovations into his chairs, selling more than 35,000 chairs in the period before 1885.
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The Barber's Chair

Thomas “Tick” Campbell lives in Oxford, Mississippi, where he is a barber and serves as an elder at Grace Bible Church. He is married to Ashley, and they have three young children. What do you do every day? I wake up between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m. to work out and spend time with Jesus before I begin my day job as a barber. I don’t just cut hair; I build relationships. I make small talk and pray that God creates an opportunity for me to talk about him. Over time, the door often opens, and many of my clients feel comfortable enough to unload their burdens, and I share Christ with them. Through the years I’ve moved away from bluntly hitting people with the gospel without a relationship and into building relational currency with my clients. As an image-bearer of God, how does your work reflect some aspect of God’s work? I don’t believe all preachers are in the pulpit. Not all ministry happens in the church. Every Christian is a minister and ambassador who deals with souls. Dealing with the souls of men is the most delicate thing you can do. My ministry is in that chair. Some days that looks like praying for people who are sick, offering a word of encouragement, or just having good conversation. Every day I feel the weight that the client in the chair could die tomorrow. If I walk into work with that awareness, it changes the way I approach my job. How does your work give you a unique vantage point into the brokenness of the world? I see brokenness in the life of almost every head I cut. Evidences of fatherlessness abound when kids come in and mistreat their mothers or lack respect for authority. I hear the stories of children being molested, teens engaging in premarital sex, and parents who don’t know the truth and beauty of the gospel. Every day I see men and women struggling with the basic necessities of life—food, clothing, and shelter. Single mothers frequently come in and can’t pay for haircuts. Mostly I see people who have no hope. Knowing this makes the 20 or 30 minutes I get with them so important. Jesus commands us to “love our neighbors as ourselves.” How does your work function as an opportunity to love and serve others? Everyone who walks into the barbershop is my neighbor. I serve those who have fallen on hard times—even if that means I don’t get paid. As I’m cutting a client’s hair, he may share with me that he recently lost his job, so I won’t make him pay for the haircut. I make deals for mothers with multiple kids to help them. On one occasion a young client’s father was in jail, so I cut his hair for free until his father returned home. Editors’ note: TGCvocations is a weekly column that asks practitioners how they integrate their faith and their work. Interviews are condensed and edited.
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The Barber's Chair

“We offer the standard $12 haircut, but customers also get the chance to talk and share while in the chair, which is also part of what is the draw of having a barber who they know and trust. Even though there’s lots of talk about sports, I also hear about family issues and relationship problems. One thing a barber learns right away is to not weigh too heavy on opinions. Because if you take sides and agree too much, the clients’ opinions about what’s being talked about could change and you don’t want to be the one who said something that you later regret.”
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The Barber's Chair

The gunman stormed into the Odalis & Cheo Barber Shop on E.175th St. in Mount Hope about 1:30 p.m. Monday and opened fire on Ezekiel Burley as he sat in a barber’s chair, witnesses told police. Burley was hit in both thighs, the midsection and shoulder, officials said.
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The Barber's Chair

“I had one year right after barber school as an apprentice for an older, established barber in Blue Island, Ill., before I started my own shop here in Crown Point,” Hine said.
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Buy Now Damian Rico, The Times Doug Paris sits in his vintage barber chair, which is more than a century ago, in his Hammond barbershop. The chair was a gift to himself on his last birthday.
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Doug Paris sits in his vintage barber chair, which is more than a century ago, in his Hammond barbershop. The chair was a gift to himself on his last birthday.
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“I got some of my best advice during that first year from being around a barber who knew this business. He told (me) three key things to remember. Always wear good shoes. Always wear support socks. And never give away a free haircut. He said, ‘Help someone dig a ditch if you want to help him out, but never give a free haircut.’ And he was right. This is our work and trade and if you give that away, you have nothing else.”
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“I trim and then ask for the customer’s opinion. As a barber, you learn pretty quick from that first mistake, you can always trim more off, but you can’t put it back on after it’s gone.”
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Thomas “Tick” Campbell lives in Oxford, Mississippi, where he is a barber and serves as an elder at Grace Bible Church. He is married to Ashley, and they have three young children.
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I wake up between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m. to work out and spend time with Jesus before I begin my day job as a barber. I don’t just cut hair; I build relationships. I make small talk and pray that God creates an opportunity for me to talk about him. Over time, the door often opens, and many of my clients feel comfortable enough to unload their burdens, and I share Christ with them. Through the years I’ve moved away from bluntly hitting people with the gospel without a relationship and into building relational currency with my clients.
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In 1897, Samuel Kline (of the Kline Chair Company) patented a chair and filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Theodore Koch in 1905 (but was overturned). In 1904, Kline filed a patent for an “adjustable chair” which was granted in 1907.
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I don’t believe all preachers are in the pulpit. Not all ministry happens in the church. Every Christian is a minister and ambassador who deals with souls. Dealing with the souls of men is the most delicate thing you can do. My ministry is in that chair. Some days that looks like praying for people who are sick, offering a word of encouragement, or just having good conversation. Every day I feel the weight that the client in the chair could die tomorrow. If I walk into work with that awareness, it changes the way I approach my job.