Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Treasured Comment From A Treasured Commenter

If You've Only Got A Moustache
Stephen Foster (1864)

Oh! all of you poor single men,
Don't ever give up in despair,
For there's always a chance while there's life
To capture the hearts of the fair,
No matter what may be your age,
You always may cut a fine dash,
You will suit all the girls to a hair
If you've only got a moustache,
A moustache, a moustache,
If you've only got a moustache.

No matter for manners or style,
No matter for birth or for fame,
All these used to have something to do
With young ladies changing their name,
There's no reason now to despond,
Or go and do any thing rash,
For you'll do though you can't raise a cent,
If you'll only raise a moustache!
A moustache, a moustache,
If you'll only raise a moustache.

Your head may be thick as a block,
And empty as any foot-ball,
Oh! your eyes may be green as the grass
Your heart just as hard as a wall.
Yet take the advice that I give,
You'll soon gain affection and cash,
And will be all the rage with the girls,
If you'll only get a moustache,
A moustache, a moustache,
If you'll only get a moustache.

I once was in sorrow and tears
Because I was jilted you know,
So right down to the river
I ran To quickly dispose of my woe,
A good friend he gave me advice
And timely prevented the splash,
Now at home I've a wife and ten heirs,
And all through a handsome moustache,
A moustache, a moustache,
And all through a handsome moustache.

I'd like to thank Loyal Reader Caitlin GD Hopkins for bringing this delightful (and accurate!) song to my attention. The link also includes a MP3 of the song suitable for downloading. Sadly, the linked MP3 is not played on the traditional Jaw Harp and Concertina that Foster preferred.

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Unhappy Marriage

While a fine mustache is a boon to any relationship, look hither at the bearded marriage. His deep despair. Her dead eyes and forced smiled. The sadness of this image resonates through the centuries...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Soft-Focus Mustache

This gentleman decided to memorialize his mustache with an opaque glass ambrotype. A bold choice considering the amount of fine detail that was lost. Perhaps a lover was the intend of this image, but leaving researchers and aficionados such as ourselves in a historic fog.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Desperate Times Call For Manly Mustaches

Devoted Reader Alice W. points us to this discussion of the bold mustaches that have have been chosen to lead our country out of these dark times.

The Year Of The Mustache by Anya Strzemien

William Howard Taft

A little examined chapter of the life if our Last Mustachioed President, William Howard Taft, is the turbulent years before he could grow a mustache.

I would be an angry infant as well if I knew how long it would be for that mustache to be mine...

Monday, November 24, 2008

A Fine Choice

Our readers of the fairer sex will surely and readily attest to the stark fact that there are mustaches you date, and mustaches you marry. This beautifully frocked lady has made I wise choice, I think. A well-groomed Imperial is fine husband material.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Democracy, red in tooth and claw...

While I struggle to stay above the political wrangling, it must be noted that only one candidate for President has a mustache:

I will make no formal endorsement, but I will say: 95 years is long enough!

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Moving Pictures Mustache

Never has the Nineteenth Century Mustache been as dynamic as in these serialed images. If only a fine and bold mustache aesthetic had taken hold in the decadent film industry. Imagine the dizzying delights of 1950s Mustache-O-Vision!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Another Sad Mustache

But I have an explanation for both, I think. Each is sad because they know nothing of their long lost twin.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Faraway Mustache

This sad-eyed fellow seems to be contemplating the heady days of mustaches past; or, perhaps, the horror of a mustache that might never be. Chilling.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Wisdom of Mustaches

The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently.

-Friedrich Nietzsche, The Dawn, Sec. 297

His mustache veritably teems with uncorruptibility. He and his mustache learned much from Friedrich.

Friday, August 8, 2008

The Raconteur

Be watchful, ladies, or this blond dandy might throw you down the staircase of love!

Friday, August 1, 2008


I have been away so long, I am almost ashamed to post. Upheaval at the Insititute, a mad power struggle at the top, interns being lured away to a European mustache think tank... it is too overwhelming.

This gentleman's well-groomed Imperial is a fine example of the form, but was unfortunately captured on gaslight developing-out paper. It will continue to fade until there is nothing left.

Friday, July 11, 2008

All Slipping Away

It is sad to see a man balding on the head and the mustache so young.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

On Beardism

There has seldom existed a more frightening documentary on the danger of beards than this one I have found. Not suitable for the weak of constitution.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Mustaches Promote Good Posture

Just look at how those bare-lipped louts are unable to sit up straight. One even leans in the presence of two fine mustaches! The disrespect!

The mustache requires balance and grace from the wearer, promoting good and correct posture.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Desperate Mustache

He looks trapped and maybe a little self-destructive. Possibly he lost his family savings in the otter-hide market crash of 1868.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Our 200th Post!

While a fine mustache indeed, of greatest interest to hirsutologists lies in the fact that this might be the first photographic evidence of the "faux-hawk."

The interns note that his plaintive eyes long for a night of "clubbing." Though, why such a finely dressed man would want to spend all-night beating baby seals to death is beyond me. There are French-Canadians to do that sort of work!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Mustaches of the Civil War, Pt. 14

The tragic loss of his right hand necessitated the side-switch in the part of his hair. His well-maintained face-shelf was fortunately not affected.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Diseases of the Mustache: Temporary Handlebar Weariness

What horror to be so afflicted. The right-side cannot hold a twist at all.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Indianapolis Bow-tie

From his lustfully low widow's peak to his jaunty bow-tie, everything about this gentleman indicates a willingness to let his bushy mustache live wild and free.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Making The Most

Only one of them is making the most of his time in a POW camp. Can you spot him?

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Orphaned Mustache

Richard Willing, of Missouri. A hair part so sharp it could open letters for you. Artfully posed with the blanket he was wrapped in as a foundling.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Pensive Mustache

Perhaps he thinks of the mustaches he left behind in the old country.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Never-Far-Away Mustache

This is a gem tintype, half-an-inch tall. These were made to be part of lockets or other small jewelry. Someone wanted to keep this mustache very close to her heart...

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Exceptionally Erudite

While he is a very intelligent looking man, I am not sure that during portraiture is the best time to indulge relief from omphalic itching.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The Fools of April

Warning to the fairer sex, unaccompanied minors and those with weak constitutions, today's post is on a rather shocking matter.

Let us spend this one day contemplating the most foolish of facial hair:

The Mustacheless Beard

With no mustache, sideburns or cheek bridge, this represents the reverse face-shelf. Truly horrible to behold.

This mustacheless patriarch surely ruled his family with a cruel and iron fist. Possibly because no woman could love a deliberately barelipped authoritarian. The seeds of feminism were sown from his unnatural co-location of facial and chest hair.

A furious expression on a mustacheless face. What joy can be had without a mustache?

Of course, my condemnation of the mustacheless beard does not extend to the Amish and Mennonite communities, who are mustacheless for religious reasons. As wikipedia explains:

Moustaches are not allowed, because they are associated with the military, and because they give opportunity for vanity. The avoidance of military styles has origins in the religious and political persecution in 16th and 17th century Europ. Men of the nobility and upper classes, who often served as military officers, wore moustaches but not beards, and the pacifist Amish avoid moustaches because of this association.

Friday, March 28, 2008

A Thoughtful Young Man

He dreams, perhaps, of one day having the thickest mustache in all of upstate New York.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Courageous Mustache

A lack of any legs has not impeded this man from growing a fine mustache. I ask the male readers of this journal, here on this chilly first day of Spring, what is your excuse?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

A Fine Canadian Mustache

While Google fails me once again on the fine details, I recognize the two large medals identifying this gentleman as having had a Québécois Récompense de Service de Moustache bestowed upon him at some point. The smaller starburst at his throat indicates a career in the Greater Canadian Moustache Brigades and the sash is only awarded if his mustache was wounded in combat. Truly a mighty warrior and someone deserving our respect. Too bad the collective memory of the Internet has let him slip away.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Key to a Happy Childhood

What child wouldn't be thrilled to be have been sired by a gentleman with such a fine mustache? What hours of delight such a lucky child would have in knowing her father to be among a rarefied company. A wonderful handlebar like that could populate the entire world with siblings!

A beautiful image reproduced on my favorite photographic process, matte collodion printing-out paper.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Mustache Truth Revealed In Poetry

A wonderful translation of Mustache Thievery by Sukumar Ray

This excellent poem from the facial-hair rich sub-continent now called India contains some of the truest line spoke by man:

They claim the mustache is mine--as though it’s something you can own!
The mustache owns the man, my friend--that’s how we all are known.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Brotherly Mustache

James and William Harbut, known locally as "The Harbut Boys." Ruffians in their youth, they finally grew fine matching mustaches and joined the gentry. The civilizing influence of a properly groomed mustache cannot be over estimated. It tamed more wild youth in the Nineteenth Century than comely minister's daughters.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Too Much Restraint

While his mustache is near-perfect in its tight twists, his sideburns scream to be set free.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Steely Glint of Capitalism In His Eye

How that monster Stalin was able to subvert such a fine free-market mustache to his twisted philosophy is one of the great laments of mustachiologists.

Friday, February 22, 2008

A Formidable Nietzsche

While mustaches this full were occasionally grown to cover up the sort of severe lip injuries common in the Crimean War, I think the hastily retied neck wear belies this gentleman's success with the ladies. Perhaps a tryst with the photomixing girl in the congreve closet...

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Amazing Facespanner!

This gentleman is pushing the structural integrity of his mustache to its very limits. From the perfect bird-on-wing swoop to its stunning density, this mustache is easily the finest example of this rare and difficult style I have ever found.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Mustache Of Love

Happy Valentine's Day, from all the staff here at Mustaches of the Nineteenth Century. May you find in your loved ones the joy that normally only a mustache can bring.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

More Mustache Slander: The Colbert Report

It has come to my attention that inconsequential TV funnyman Stephen Colbert made the following pronouncement on his little-watched basic cable "news" show.

"They [homosexuals] have already claimed mustaches and short-shorts, they've ruined those for the rest of us."

and later

"A statistical correlation [between mustaches and homosexuality], it's not cause and effect. Mustaches don't make you gay, but they don't help."

This is the sort of ill-considered tripe that flows from the follicularly impaired, Mr. Colbert. Gay or straight, any mustached man is more masculine than a barelipped buffoon such as you!

Jingoism: The last refuge of the clean-shaven scoundrel!

Finally, Some Form Of Justice

A reader, anonymous and possibly fearful of reprisal, brought to my attention the sad plight of Victor Joynath De who was fired from his air steward job on Indian Airlines for sporting this fine facespanner:

A Calcutta court has reinstated the fine gentleman to his job, after months of legal wrangling.

The reason cited by the airline? His mustache was unhygienic! Unhygienic? Balderdash!

I urge all my loyal readers to send a letter of protest to Indian Airlines and to boycott their corporation forthwith. How horrible it is to find this level of mustache ignorance and prejudice in the modern world.

Long may Victor Joynath De's mustache reign!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Speechless Before The Mustache Sandwich

The shriek of delight from the interns when they stumbled upon this image roused the entire Institute to come and take a look. Nineteenth Century mustache portraiture is always a formal affair; to find such an innocent image of the mustache at play is rare indeed.

Friday, February 8, 2008

The Casual Spanner

The facespanner at rest, as it were. In its full tumescence, the facespanner strides mightily from ear to ear, but when relaxed, as seen here, by certain unguents and conditioners, it swoops softly down to the very jawline of a man. Glorious!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

The Virile Mustache

His wife is visibly exhausted by his virile mustache and the husbandly power it holds over her.

Friday, February 1, 2008

The Minimum Stain

A fine mustache ruined by a dribble beard. Shameful.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Remembering IOOMRF

A fine gentleman with a fine mustache, but the historical heft of this image is on his lapel. It is a rare photograph of an International Order of Mustache Relief Fellows membership pin. Every major city in the civilized world had a IOOMRF chapter house, ready to lend a hand to mustachioed and unmustached alike. This fine men were all pillars of their community and lead by example of their fine mustaches. They would give lectures on mustache grooming and public demonstrations of mustache safety procedures. They were also known for their fund drives and parades, raising money for widows, orphans, and the medically unmustache. Unfortunately, changing styles and the electric razor took their toll on the membership at large and the organization is largely forgotten.

In recent years, though, a number of like-mided organizations, both literal and spiritual descendants of IOOMRF, have sprung up. If you would like to support mustaches in your area, I urge you to seek out organizations like Mustaches For Kids, Team Mo-Mentum, and Fund-A-Stache. Fine folks doing fine work, and keeping the mustache alive.

Monday, January 28, 2008

The Properly Populated Philtrum

Now this is a fine and dense philtrum, brooking no argument from the whithers or tips.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Balding Philtrum

Another view of the grotesque effects of a malformed philtrum.

Once again I must show you a mustache with pronounced pugilistic effect. I would beg the forbearance of my loyal readers with delicate constitutions.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Edison's Folly: Better Mustaches Through Science

As best I can discover, this is the only know photographic evidence of the amazing, yet dangerous effects of Thomas Edison's Electromustacherizer that saw its first and only public demonstration at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair. These men started the day clean-shaven and grew these fine mustaches in just a few minutes under the influence of Edison's machine. But, just as the rays of the mighty sun struck Icarus low, their mustaches were mere guttering flames that fell out in clumps just three days later. In a saddening result, Edison's folly rendered these men mustacheless for the rest of their days.

In his despair, Edison spent the rest of his lonely days electrocuting elephants and yelling at rotating wax cylinders. Unable to sleep for more than an hour at a stretch due to his burning guilt for mutilating these men, Edison died penniless and alone in a Rhode Island boarding house not two years later.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Plain, But Respectable

It is a shame that he does not capitalize on the wonderful density and tall philtrum and whithers Nature has provided him.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Unattractiveness of Indecision

This--I hesitate to say gentleman--has a thin, patchy mustache and flared sideburns. It is either a failed attempt at the noble faceshelf or a fatal indecision on his part of facial hair styles. The shifty look in his eyes even indicates he might be thinking of mustachelessness. The generous among you might assign his rough appearance to a mustache wasting disease, but I've seen his kind before. Shocking.