Remember When, Chattanooga? Perms at The Elite beauty salon were just $7.50

Gerard Ortiz

For a stretch of a long time from the mid-1940s until eventually at the very least the early 1960s, The Elite beauty salon flourished in the lobby of Chattanooga’s James Building at Eighth and Wide streets.

The write-up-war decades have been a golden era in the attractiveness organization as females manufactured appointments for long-lasting-wave treatments and stylings that started out at $7.50.

The picture accompanying this post was taken in 1947 and appears to display workers users of The Elite magnificence salon at the rear of a glass showcase crammed with attractiveness solutions. As quite a few as 12 stylists labored at the salon at details in the 1940s, according to newspaper advertisement copy.

The 12-story James Building, which has been named Chattanooga’s first skyscraper, was produced by Signal Mountain developer Charles E. James and built by architect Reuben Harrison Hunt in the neoclassical design. Hunt also built several other noteworthy downtown structures which include the Joel W. Solomon Federal Creating and Courthouse at 900 Georgia Ave.

The James Making, which now homes legislation and insurance coverage workplaces, according to the building’s website, was constructed in 1906 and contains 128,000 sq. toes of interior room. In 1979 it was positioned on the Nationwide Sign up of Historic Sites.

The picture right here was taken by Chattanooga News-Cost-free Push photographer Delmont Wilson. The photograph was saved in the newspaper’s photograph archives and has been preserved at the site

Even though the two women in the photo ended up not discovered in the archives, newspaper clips from 1949 be aware the operator-operators of The Elite then have been Inez Shoemaker and Levina Wright. Shoemaker’s obituary from 1975 notes she was a indigenous of West Virginia who lived in Chattanooga for 31 yrs, together with her stint as an proprietor-operator of The Elite.

An advertisement from the year the image was made said, “We propose a homosexual new hairdo by a single of our stylists. A soft, natural-look everlasting wave setting up at $7.50.” Other selling prices from the period ended up: haircut, $1 shampoo and established, $1.25 facial, $2 and permanents, $7.50.

The to start with occasion of a newspaper ad mentioning The Elite was in 1945 when the salon sponsored a recruiting hard work for the Woman’s Military Corp. The past ad appeared in 1959 under the headline: “Hair Ye! Hair Ye! … How do you glimpse?” In a 1959 society column, Lena Foster was outlined as the then-operator of the salon.

Adhere to the Bear in mind When, Chattanooga? general public group on Facebook. See much more historic photographs at

Introduced by historical past enthusiast Sam Hall in 2014, is managed to current historical photos in the highest resolution readily available. If you have image negatives, glass plate negatives or primary nondigital prints taken in the Chattanooga spot, make contact with Sam Hall for data on how they may qualify to be digitized and preserved at no cost.

“Bear in mind When, Chattanooga?” is released on Saturdays. Speak to Mark Kennedy at [email protected] or 423-757-6645. Comply with him on Twitter @TFPcolumnist.

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