Who was Hans N Langseth

The fashion for beards, whiskers and bristling moustaches fell into a serious decline for much of the first half of the 20th Century, not least because in both world wars, the seal on gas masks would only work on hair-free skin. But one pogonophile grew a beard that hipsters of today can only dream of. His name was Hans N Langseth, a Norwegian who had emigrated to Iowa, and he grew what is believed to be the world’s longest beard.

Hans N Langseth

Although Langseth died in 1927, he was back in the news in 1967, when the Smithsonian purchased his beard – all 17.5 feet (5.3m) of it.

Lucinda Hawksley is the author of Moustaches, Whiskers and Beards, published by the National Portrait Gallery last month. She is a great-great-great-granddaughter of Charles Dickens. Extracted from http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-30037914 on November 17, 2014.


Word Wizard.