Some years ago I was watching a PBS program on Sunday morning in a hotel in Virginia Beach. The program was called "Collecting Across America". The guest that day was in the process of writing a book about barbershop memorabilia. I perked up to pay attention, since I had a barbershop sign that had belonged to my mom. After we returned home, I wrote to him, describing my sign. He asked me to photograph it and if it fit his criteria, he wanted to include it in the book. I had just had the sign framed, so I had to unframe it, photograph it and then put the frame back together.
The photograph I sent him is on the top left, and the page it is on in the book is on the right. The other photos are of the book's cover and a few representative pages from the book.
Since my sign was included, I was compelled to purchase a copy. Little did I know how interesting it would be, and I found myself reading that book (or at least looking at the pictures) from cover to cover. From this book and others, I have concluded that everyday items in general use were much handsomer in those days; they appeal to me much more than most modern items.
I decorated a whole bathroom around that sign, using the colors found in it, as well as a collection of hand-painted Tole tinware, given to me by my mother's sister. I may never tire of it! I don't know how long my mom had this sign. After she died, I found it in her basement. It is a wonder that it wasn't mildewed beyond repair, but I am surely glad it survived.
In case you are curious, Boncilla was a hair tonic. That was what I wanted to know most about the sign, after finding out it's worth.
Edit: OldOldLadyof the Hills asked: "What's a singe?" Singeing is still done sometimes; it is singeing off the ends of the hair by burning, instead of cutting. It is supposed to take care of split ends.