Monday, January 01, 2007

Beards of the Prophits

Note: This post was inspired in part by Kyle's recent blog entry on the Mustcache.

Now an endangerd species the 'Great Mormon Beard' was a near ubiqutous presence in the Great Basin region of the 19th, and first half of the 20th Century. Nowhere was the Mormon beard more prominate then on the face of the LDS Church Presidents or Prophets. Here in we will briefly examine the history of the Mormon beard as it appeard on their Mugs.
Joseph Smith the first Mormon Prophet and Chruch President (served 1830-1844) did not sport a beard, as witnessed in this daguerreotype, the only known photographic image of Mr. Smith.
Jospeh's successor as leader of the main body of the church, Brigham Young (served 1844-1877) was likewise beardless at the start of his administration, favoring instead a roughly bell shaped hair cut.
Brigham eventully started to grow a beard that went through many stages, one of which is here pictured, before settling on the classic Brigham Young showen bellow.

The Classic Brigham Young

John Taylor who followed Young as head of the Church (1877-1887), favored a bushy and glorifyed Neard, or neck beard.
Successor Wilford Woodruffs (1887-1898) beard came in two types during his years in office, with both a relatively close cut version...
... and the classic 'Cotton'.
Lorenzo Snow (1898-1901) had 'The Icecycle', ...
... Joseph F. Smith (1901-1918) the 'Z.Z. Top',...
...and Heber J. Grant (1918-1945) the 'Sigmund Freud'.
George Albert Smith (1945-1951) was ahead of the beatnicks with his stylish 'Goatee' (my personal favorite).
Alas the era of 'The Great Mormon Beard' came to an end with the 1950's and the presidency of clean cut David O. McKay (1951-1970).

R.I.P the Bearded Mormon Prophet (mainline): 185?-1951.


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