PIONEERS AND IMMIGRANTS
Mug, Shaving

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Record 240/261
Copyright Oshkosh Public Museum
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Description White porcelain shaving mug with gold painted rim and on front: "Ole Oleson". Also green and pink floral and butterfly designs

Ole Olsen was born in Norway in 1839 and emigrated with his parents to the United States. In 1859 he came to Oshkosh, worked on riverboats, and became a captain. During the Civil War, Ole enlisted in the 2nd Wisconsin Volunteers and a year later was transferred to naval service on a Mississippi gunboat. After the war Ole returned to Oshkosh and riverboating. He served as postmaster twice and became active in the Republican Party. Ole died in 1905 and is buried in Riverside Cemetery.

Before the invention of the safety razor and electric razor shaving was done with a straight edge razor, For this delicate job to be done without cutting the face it was considered best to have it done by a barber. Men would visit the barbershop daily to have this task done for them and most kept their own mug there to help accomplish the job. Oshkosh had quite a revolt around 1873-74, when local barbers planned to close one day a week-Sunday. Men protested because they did not want to go a day without the barbers available to shave them. The barbers eventually won!
Dimensions H-9 Dia-9 inches
Year Range from 1870
Year range to 1905
Object ID 600-289
Object Name Mug, Shaving
People Oleson, Ole
Used Olsen, Ole
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Last modified on: December 12, 2009