Eva Bowman (Cardel) Biography

Eva Bowman

Eva Bowman was a native Nashvillian, civic leader, businesswoman and beautician. She trained for cosmetology under Madame C.J. Walker's Lelia College, Indianapolis, IN 1929; Pord College, Memphis, Tennessee, 1941; and the Institute of Cosmetology, Jersey City, Jersey, 1946. She became the first black beauty inspector and examiner of cosmetology for the state of Tennessee.

As a businesswoman, she became the proprietor of Bowman Beauty and Barber College and in 1946 introduced the fantastic curl called the "cooler curl"--a curl without hot irons of grease. She also owned and operated Alice's Beauty Shop and Beauty School and trained veterans in her Physio-Therapy Institute. She was instrumental in adding Cosmetology to the curriculum at the Tennessee Vocational School.

Her community activities included being the first black woman to run for Direct Representative in the Democratic Primary election in 1962. She was active in politics, organizing the Southwest Civic League, an organization that was instrumental in beautifying south Nashville, resulting in the building of Rose Park and the Easley Center.