Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Face of Northern Institute of Cosmetology

Back in my post about the Dew Drop Inn a few days ago, I mentioned the Northern Institute of Cosmetology next door, with its large illuminated signs of a woman's face adorning its building. When I saw the photo, I immediately recognized them (from our weekly trips downtown for trumpet lessons with Alex Visci) and consequently my brain conjured up my childhood impression of them.

The funny thing is that when I was a kid, I thought that the building (with its very few windows) was the home of some sort of wild nightclub, the kind you see in the bad part of a big city with signs advertising GIRLS-GIRLS-GIRLS!

I guess the signs (with the woman wearing a flower in her hair) reminded me of a hostess in an army canteen or something. "Hey, Joe, you got gum?" she seems to be saying.

Anyway, I unsuccessfully scoured the phone books at the Lorain Public Library, trying to find an ad that featured the same sign graphic. I discovered that the school ran a variety of ads over the years, none of which featured the iconic head.

I did find one ad from 1960 that included a small graphic that represented the building. Note the rather formal-looking heads in silhouette!

I also learned that Northern Institute of Cosmetology was the oldest school of its kind in Lorain County, dating back to 1949 – and that it's still in downtown Lorain at 669 Broadway. Good for them!


Ken said...

An old forgotten friend. From back when Lorain still had a thriving, active downtown. How nice that they put some food on a poor artist's table when they came up with those signs.

Lisa said...

I remember getting my hair cut there when I was younger. I wonder if they still offer hair salon services to the public.