Today in our: Meet a Legend series, we would be looking at renowned barbing legend, A.B Moler.
A.B. Moler was born in 1868, Chicago, Illinois, and there’s very little information available about the first formative 21 years of his life. At 21, however, is when the magic began. Moler began his barbering apprenticeship then, under the tutelage of his older brother who had learned on the job until he was something of a dab hand. For the first 3 years of his apprenticeship, Moler didn’t really feel he learnt all that much, being primarily engaged with floor-sweeping, neck-shaving and hot towel dispensing, which he felt added little to his trade.
Over the next 10 years, A. B. Moler devised a method of training that led to the founding of the “Moler System of Barber Colleges”. Beginning with his main college, which was founded in 1893, Chicago (his home town), the colleges spread to almost every major city throughout the United States and Canada! Quite an achievement for someone who felt the first 3 years were a waste. These barbering schools were the first of their kind, not just in the US, but in the world!
The same year of the training school opening, he published his first text book: The Moler Manual of Barbering. This was just the first in a wide range of textbooks the prolific and multi-talented A. B. Moler wrote. Including, but not exclusively: The Barbers Manual (1911) the main image for this article, The Manual of Beauty Culture (1922), Ambition or Just Plain Laziness (1930) and The Manual of Cosmetology (1947). Quite the catalogue.
A. B. Moler’s dedication to his career and spreading the knowledge is what made him a legend, being inducted to the Barber Hall of Fame in 1965.