22 December, 2012

Peter Cooper

Peter Cooper (February 12, 1791 – April 4, 1883) was an American industrialist, inventor, philanthropist, and candidate for President of the United States. He designed and built the first steam locomotive in the U.S., and founded the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in Manhattan, New York City.

13 December, 2012

Amanda Beard

Amanda Ray Beard is an American swimmer and a seven-time Olympic medalist. She is a former world record holder in the 200-meter breaststroke. Beard's success have earned her the American Swimmer of the Year Award twice. But no beard...

05 December, 2012


Sinterklaas (or more formally Sint Nicolaas or Sint Nikolaas; Saint Nicolas in French; Sankt Nikolaus in German) is a traditional Winter holiday figure still celebrated today in the Low Countries, including the Netherlands and Belgium, as well as French Flanders (Lille) and Artois (Arras). He is also well known in territories of the former Dutch Empire, including South Africa, Aruba, Suriname, Curaçao, Bonaire, and Indonesia. He is one of the sources of the holiday figure of Santa Claus in North America.
Although he is usually referred to as Sinterklaas, he is also known as De Goedheiligman (The Good Holy Man), Sint Nicolaas (Saint Nicholas) or simply as De Sint (The Saint).
He is celebrated annually on Saint Nicholas' eve (5 December) or on the morning of 6 December in the Netherlands, Belgium and Northern France. Originally, the feast celebrates the name day of Saint Nicholas — patron saint of children, sailors, and the city of Amsterdam, among others. Sint Nicholas being a bishop and this geographical spread make clear that the feast in this form has a Roman Catholic background.
Closely related figures are also known in German-speaking Europe and territories historically influenced by German culture, including: Switzerland (Samichlaus), Germany and Austria (Sankt Nikolaus); the region of South Tyrol in Italy; Nord-Pas de Calais, Alsace and Lorraine in France - as well as in Luxembourg (De Kleeschen), parts of Central Europe and the Balkans.

27 November, 2012

Beard Token

A beard tax is one of several taxes introduced throughout history on men who wear beards.
In 1705, Emperor Peter I of Russia instituted a beard tax to modernize the society of Russia following European models. Those who paid the tax were required to carry a "beard token". This was a copper or silver token with a Russian Eagle on one side and on the other, the lower part of a face with nose, mouth, whiskers, and beard. It was inscribed with two phrases: "the beard tax has been taken" and "the beard is a superfluous burden".
You can order your own beard token here

23 November, 2012


Mr. Fořt 1908–1909

Long or extremely long beards were popular especially among intellectuals, scientists and in arty quarters. This beard not only symbolised manhood, but also symbolised dignity. It reminded people of the ancient philosophers, and the protestant pastors, who followed the tradition of the old law prophets. A long beard, especially when worn by an older man, and it was grey or white, clearly demonstrated high intellect and reputation.

21 November, 2012


Franz Schächtl (brother of Ignác) with wife, carte de visite, 1876–1890

20 November, 2012


The “false beard” was always a part of theatrical performances. Historically, it had the role of being the king‘s insignia, such as in Ancient Egypt. It became important in many conspiratorial masks and disguises, for example, by the former criminal, and later, founder of modern criminology, Eugéne F. Vidocq. At the same time, it became a popular fashion article on otherwise beardless men‘s faces.

17 November, 2012


The Sokol gymnastic and youth movement was founded in the Czech lands to demonstrate the increasing political independence of the Czech nation. Sokol’s focus on physical and spiritual “refinement”, and thus “upgrading” the Czech people,was also inspired by Italian revolutionary followers of Giuseppe Garibaldi. This led to the popularity of “Garibaldi-like” beards among Sokol members, and was also promoted by the founders of Sokol, Miroslav Tyrš and Jindřich Fügner.

14 November, 2012


Unidentified person in Sokol garb, collodion negative, 1868–1883

13 November, 2012