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Head Shop History

American head shops originated in the 1960s in cities with high concentrations of college-age youth, often growing out of independently owned poster or candle stores. Historically, US head shops proliferated on St. Mark's Place in New York City's East Village, in West Los Angeles, in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury neighborhood, and in Chicago's Old Town. Sources cite the Psychedelic Shop on Haight Street in San Francisco as the first head shop in the United States. Operated by United States Army veteran Ron Thelin and his younger brother Jay, it opened on January 3, 1966. Four months later Jeff Glick opened "Head Shop" on East Ninth Street in New York City. Also in 1966, The Birmingham Balloon Company opened at 113 Fry Street Denton, Tx.


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