Delaware Agricultural Museum
Delaware Agricultural Museum

Gourley Barber Shop (ca. 1900)


The Museum's barbershop was built in 1900 by Harry Gourley of Magnolia, Delaware. A one-chair operation, Mr. Gourley cut children's hair for 10 cents if they wiggled and 9 cents if they sat still. He charged men 25 cents per haircut. At the turn of the century, women never had their hair cut by a barber.

Like other barbers, Gourley displayed the shaving cups used by his customers which showed the number of customers he served. Straight razors, leather strops (straps) for sharpening razors, and scissors were all kept near a water bucket, in which they would be rinsed and cleaned. Customers waiting to get their hair cut either sat on the bench or stood around the "Bucket-a-Day" coal stove to keep warm. Outside the shop, a red and white barber pole, which represented the blood-stained bandages associated with bloodletting, indicated that Gourley was open for business. The barbershop was donated to the Delaware Agricultural Museum and Village in 1992 by the Town of Magnolia. It was moved to the Museum and restored in 1993.

Where to Find Us:

Delaware Agricultural Museum and Village
866 N Dupont Hwy
Dover, DE 19901

Daily Hours: 

Tues. to Sat. 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Closed Sunday & Monday

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