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

Robert Hundley

For a extend of yrs from the mid-1940s until eventually at least the early 1960s, The Elite attractiveness salon flourished in the lobby of Chattanooga’s James Making at Eighth and Broad streets.

The publish-war years were being a golden era in the beauty company as ladies created appointments for everlasting-wave therapies and stylings that begun at $7.50.

The photograph accompanying this write-up was taken in 1947 and seems to present team users of The Elite magnificence salon guiding a glass showcase stuffed with elegance goods. As quite a few as 12 stylists labored at the salon at points in the 1940s, in accordance to newspaper advert duplicate.

The 12-story James Creating, which has been identified as Chattanooga’s first skyscraper, was created by Sign Mountain developer Charles E. James and created by architect Reuben Harrison Hunt in the neoclassical style. Hunt also built various other notable downtown structures which include the Joel W. Solomon Federal Building and Courthouse at 900 Ga Ave.

The James Building, which now homes law and insurance coverage places of work, according to the building’s web site, was designed in 1906 and incorporates 128,000 sq. feet of inside space. In 1979 it was put on the Countrywide Register of Historic Destinations.

The photo below was taken by Chattanooga News-No cost Press photographer Delmont Wilson. The image was saved in the newspaper’s photograph archives and has been preserved at the website

While the two women in the photograph have been 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 native of West Virginia who lived in Chattanooga for 31 years, like her stint as an proprietor-operator of The Elite.

An advertisement from the yr the picture was manufactured mentioned, “We advise a homosexual new hairdo by 1 of our stylists. A delicate, purely natural-seem permanent wave beginning at $7.50.” Other prices from the era were being: haircut, $1 shampoo and set, $1.25 facial, $2 and permanents, $7.50.

The first instance of a newspaper ad mentioning The Elite was in 1945 when the salon sponsored a recruiting effort for the Woman’s Army Corp. The past advertisement appeared in 1959 under the headline: “Hair Ye! Hair Ye! … How do you appear?” In a 1959 modern society column, Lena Foster was described as the then-operator of the salon.

Observe the Recall When, Chattanooga? public group on Facebook. See additional historic shots at

Released by background enthusiast Sam Corridor in 2014, is maintained to current historic images in the highest resolution accessible. If you have photograph negatives, glass plate negatives or unique nondigital prints taken in the Chattanooga region, get in touch with Sam Corridor for information and facts on how they may qualify to be digitized and preserved at no charge.

“Don’t forget When, Chattanooga?” is released on Saturdays. Get in touch with Mark Kennedy at [email protected] or 423-757-6645. Comply with him on Twitter @TFPcolumnist.

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