Atlanta, Ga. Hy-Beaute Chemical Co., [ca. 1950]. Photographic broadside, 19 1/4 x 25 inches. Advertising broadside printed in red and black on glossy paper. Vertical creases. Slight wear and a few small closed tears to edges (not affecting text or images). Very good. Item #WRCAM54823
A well-preserved advertising poster for Hy-Beaute Cosmetics, featuring images of eighteen different hair-silkening and smoothing products for women and men, and a "konk" straightener for men. The "konk" (or "conk," from congolene, hair-straightening gel made from lye) was a hairstyle popular with African-American men from the 1920s- 1960s. African-American women also used a variety of relaxers and straighteners to allow hair to be more easily worked into fashionable (i.e., "white") styles. A dozen female and two male models demonstrate the hairstyles attainable through application of various Hy-Beaute products. 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 (including Hy-Beaute) 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.