From the Collection

Las Vegas NM shave permit pin NMHM/DCA 11501.45

Shave permit pins from the Teddy Roosevelt Centennial celebrations in Las Vegas, NM (1958), and a shave permit from the Clovis, NM 50th anniversary celebration, 1957.
Shaving permit pins such as these were sold as a way to raise money for centennial or anniversary celebrations in many towns across the country. As part of the fundraising effort, citizens could register for a beard-growing contest. If someone did not want to participate in the contest, they could purchase a “shave permit.” This jokingly gave one “permission to shave.” The proceeds from the sale of the permits and registration fees for the contests were put towards the town’s celebration fund.
Why a beard-growing contest? Often, the Brothers of the Brush would spearhead the fundraising efforts. This organization got its name because they sought to emulate the towns’ founders. Many of the towns were founded in the Victorian period when beards and mustaches were in vogue. The Brothers of the Brush decided to capitalize on this look and encouraged beard-growing as a way to raise money.
NMHM/DCA 11501.45 and 2014.53.159

Shave permit pin from the Clovis 50th Anniversary celebration in 1957 NMHM/DCA 2014.53.159