Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Belmont Barber Chairs


The Takara Belmont Company is currently the leading manufacturer of barber equipment in the world. It surpassed its competitors in the United States when it entered the market in 1956. When it acquired Koken Manufacturing Co. in 1969, its market share basically increased to 70%. The company is known for its Belmont barber chairs which are well designed and are top quality while being priced competitively. These days, it continues to develop more sophisticated models that are functional and exquisite.

Origins
Hidenobu Yoshikawa began Takara Chuzo Ltd. in Japan back in 1921. A decade later (in 1931), barber chair production began. Barber chairs was the company's main selling point. Fast forward to 1950, when it released the hydraulic adjustable barber chair. In 1956, it established the Takara Company N.Y. Inc. as an offshore subsidiary. This would eventually come to be Takara Belmont USA, Inc. In 1959, the overseas venture continued by the setting up of Belmont Chairs London Ltd. Takara's growth did not stop there. In the 60's, it expanded to cosmetic products by partnering with Wella, a company based in Germany.

Competition
In as early as the late 1800's, the barber supply industry in the United States was already booming, with the Archer Company and the Eugene Berninghaus Company leading the charge. They developed the first barber chairs that would later on become the benchmark of barber chair designs. Soon after, Theo A. Kochs Company and Kline Chair Company followed with their own designs that supposedly improved on the previous models made by competing firms. In the early 1900's, Koken Barber's Supply Co. and Emil J. Paidar Company emerged as the fiercest rivals. Both of these manufacturers made the finest and most innovative chairs at that time. There were ups and downs along the way, but it wasn't until the arrival of the Takara Company that the industry became more interesting. There was even a filed complaint that suggests raising import taxes foreign barber shop manufacturers in an attempt to level the playing field. But that hasn't stopped the newcomer from gaining more market share. By 1969, Koken sold out to Takara Belmont. As a result, a new market leader was born.

The barber chair that you see in modern barber shops today is probably from Takara Belmont. But one of the best chairs to have your haircut on is certainly from an antique Belmont barber chair.

3 comments:

  1. Does anyone out there know where I can get parts to restore my Belmont? I can not find a model number anywhere on it. My guess from it's style is it is from the sixties or seventies. I would also like a service manual as it has an issue with dropping occasionally. I want to restore it completely. Thank you for any help you can give. I have photos available if needed.
    Rick

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  2. Anonymous23 May, 2013

    Hi, I have an an antique belmont barber chair and looking to sell it. I live in Boston, do you have any advice on selling it. Please email me at peterpalo@ymail.com with any info. Thanks!

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