Antique of the week

The barber pole was used to indicate tonsorial arts was performed in the establishment.  It originated because tonsors would not only do shaves and cut hair, but they would also do minor surgery and dental work.  The bandages used on the people would be hung outside to dry.  With the wind blowing around, they would twist together thus making a bloody spiral effect.  With that, people would recognize where the tonsorial parlour  was.  Eventually, surgery and dentistry was phased out of tonsorial arts so instead they painted a pole with red for blood and white for the bandage.  The blue stripe we see on poles today came much later to indicate blood inside the body.  To this day, barber poles are still the symbol of a barber shop.


Published in: on October 14, 2010 at 23:42  Leave a Comment  

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