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OLD BOXERS NEVER DIE -- THEY SELL BALDNESS CURES INSTEAD.

Nancy Newham, great-granddaughter of famed Australian boxer/Yukon prospector/Canadian soldier Frank Patrick Slavin, shared this clipping from a 1930 Popular Mechanics magazine. Frank's brother Jack Slavin didn't have as much success in the ring as "The Sydney Cornstalk," and by 1930 he was hawking a cure for baldness.

I went looking for Jack in the 1930 U.S. census, and the closest I could come up with for a Jack Slavin born in Australia circa 1865 was a John Slavin in San Francisco. Interestingly, he's a roomer in a house owned by a newspaper editor (presumably someone who would know about advertising and promotion), and his occupation is listed as "scalp specialist"! Is that the same man? Is it a coincidence that the Caxton Building in Chicago was on "Printer's Row" and housed a number of publishers, printers, engravers, and others in the trade.

I found a second ad, from the June 8, 1930, Oakland (California) Tribune. This time the address of the Slavin Institute in 451 - 12th Street, at Broadway, which is in the old downtown/city center of Oakland. This is obviously the same business, based on the photos and ad copy. However, rather than being a mail-order business like the Institute in the Popular Mechanics ad, this Institute was an office where the client would see someone and be treated in person. Since the Oakland business featured Jack in the ad, it lends weight to "the scalp specialist" being the old boxer.

I hope he did well!



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