History Bytes: Sideburns

May 29, 2020

Cabinet photograph of American Civil War General Ambrose Burnside (1824-1881), Collection of the NHS

The closures of hair salons and barber shops have forced people to either get creative with grooming or give up entirely. If you are growing out your sideburns, you are in good company! General Ambrose Burnside’s name was corrupted to ‘sideburns’ as a way to describe his unique facial ornamentation. Burnside (1824-1881) was a hero of the Civil War ,and later served as Governor of Rhode Island and United States Senator.

Banner: Facial hairstyles throughout history (from left) P8132FIC.2013.105, P4121, 01.821, Collection of the Newport Historical Society