Date of Award


Degree Type

Creative Project

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Lisa Gabbert

Second Advisor

Jeannie Thomas

Third Advisor

Evelyn Funda


Barbershops are a mainstay of the American tradition and have served as an anchor to main streets across the country. They have a colorful history and play an important role as community gathering places for men and boys. Before our society became more mobile, a boy may have grown up in the same barbershop, in the same barber chair, getting his hair cut by the same barber, from his years as a toddler, a teenager, and into his young adulthood. Many old school barbers have cut the hair of multiple generations, grandfathers, fathers, and sons, while standing in the same four foot by four foot space for over forty, fifty, sixty, or even seventy years. This thesis explores the various roles and many contributions of local barbershops from personal observation and business travels across America combined with scholarly and popular literature.


Digital Exhibit link: "In Search of America: One Barbershop at a Time"