David's Den - "Shave and a Haircut, Two Bits!"

Those Were The Days

By: David Moon • Apr 27, 2011 • 1 Comments

Two Bits? Hard to imagine isn't it? This Koken Barber's Chair from Solvang Antiques is a true American classic. The Koken Barber Supply Co. was developed in the year 1874 by Ernest Koken, a German immigrant, who set up shop in St Louis, Missouri. Initially, Mr. Koken produced and sold only hand painted shaving mugs. It wasn't until 1906 that he developed the first hydraulic Barber's chair. In his time, the Koken Barber's Chair represented the state of the art craftsmanship in the barber supply industry. Koken's chairs made customers feel safe and comfortable. No more "all wood" and "swivels". Koken's chairs were made of sturdy wood and steel to avoid toppling. The upholstery was made of well padded high quality leather. The Koken chair was the first to a have footrest and cushioned headrest. And now, the barber could adjust the whole chair with a foot operated hydraulic pump to achieve the perfect height for the perfect cut. The St Louis Koken Manufacturing Co. still operates today, producing stylish and durable chairs for the barber and beauty industry. The "two bits" haircut is long gone, but it's good to know that the Koken Barber's Chair lives on.