Barbicide: An American Institution

Ben King dreams of one day seeing a Crayola crayon called Barbicide Blue.

Among those taking note when Barbicide was inducted into the Smithsonian Institute earlier this year was the late CBS newsman Charles Kuralt. Recognizing that the blue liquid has become something of an institution in barbershops and salons across the nation, Kuralt, who died last July, devoted one of the final broadcasts of "An American Minute" to Barbicide and its creator, Maurice King. King was not too fond of his barber, explained Kuralt, having received a few too many nicks and scratches at his hand. So he named his product Barbicide, which means, literally, "kill the barber." Kuralt also reports that Ben King, Maurice's son and successor, has aspirations beyond even the Smithsonian: He dreams of one day seeing a Crayola crayon called Barbicide Blue.

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