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Trail Blazers: The moustache, from fashion statement to fundraiser for men

Trail Blazers is a weekly historical feature in partnership with the Trail Museum and Archives
Trail’s first city council. L-R front: Ald. James Dawson, Mayor E.S. Topping, D.J. Jelly, Ald. Noble Binns, City Treasurer F.W. Warren. Middle: J.H. Schofield. L-R third row sitting: Ald. Alexander Steele, R.H. Coleman, W.J. Devitt, Rev. Irvine, T.W. Coleman, R. E. Strong. L-R back: Ald. J.P. Byres, Dr.R.M. Perdue, Ald. W.J. Furnell. Charles McAnally (not pictured) Photo: Trail Historical Society

As the old Victorian adage goes, “kissing a man without a moustache is like eating an egg without salt.”

Personal preferences aside, handlebar moustaches are the focus of this week’s Trail Blazers feature.

Besides creating a mood of days gone past, highlighting this style of yore fits in perfectly with the month of November, known in many circles these days as “Movember.”

Read more: Gentlemen, ‘start your staches’

Movember - a portmanteau of the Australian-English diminutive word for moustache, “mo”, and “November” - is an annual event involving the growing of moustaches during the month of November to raise awareness of men’s health issues, such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health, and suicide prevention.

The Movember Foundation runs this charity event, housed at

The goal of the 30-day campaign is to “change the face of men’s health.”

The inset photo is of Trail’s first city council circa 1902.

The men are showing their moustaches from the steps of William Devitt’s house, at the corner of Cedar Avenue and Helena Street.

The personal choice of growing and shaping hair above a man’s lip goes back much farther than the Victoria Era (1837-1901).

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Archaeologists believe even cavemen shaped their facial hair into moustaches using shells and tweezers. But the moustache as it’s known today came into its own in England during the Elizabethan era (1558-1603). In a heavily bearded time, King James I and his son King Charles I set themselves apart as regal with their respective handlebars. After both mustaches were depicted in the art of the time, the masses parodied them in attempt to achieve the same distinguished look.

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Sheri Regnier

About the Author: Sheri Regnier

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