Atlanta, Ga. Hy-Beaute Chemical Co., 1949. Free-standing advertising board, 13 3/4 x 9 3/4 inches. Thick cardstock printed in red, blue, and sepia, with attached folding cardstock stand. Corners bumped, holes at corners from hanging, one scratch at upper left slightly affecting one image. Some toning and several faint water spots, but images remain bright and crisp. Very good. Item #WRCAM54822
An uncommon survival, this is an original advertising "standee" for Hy-Beaute Cosmetics. It features images of three hairstyles (two women, one man) and three haircare products indicated "For Falling Hair and Itching Scalp": "Special Double Strength Hair Dressing," "Slik-Down Pomade," and "Smokeless Pressing Oil." From the 1920s onward, African-American women and men used a variety of relaxers and straighteners (made from lye, methylene glycol, and other caustic agents) to allow hair to be more easily worked into fashionable (i.e., often "white") styles. Entrepreneur James Edward Jordan (1888- 1977) was born in Wrightsville, Ga., and moved to Atlanta in 1919. He founded a number of businesses, including Hy-Beaute Cosmetics and other beauty and barber-supplies, a tailoring shop, clothing sales and department stores, a real estate agency, a photography studio, and a motion-picture production company. Many of these businesses were located on or near Auburn Avenue, also known as "Sweet Auburn," the central business and cultural street of Atlanta's African- American community. JAMES EDWARD JORDAN PAPERS, MSS 565, Kenan Research Center, Atlanta History Center.