History of the Barbers Pole

The barber pole has a wonderful and interesting story to tell, and its presence keeps this story alive. It is the oldest distinguished mark of any profession or craft, dating back before the birth of Christ.

History tells us that barber service was rendered to the public 6,000 years before. The art of hair and beard trimming (barbering), medicine (herbs), dentistry (tooth pulling) and surgery (bloodletting) were all performed by the same operators in the early history; they were called Barber-Surgeons. Due to the services that they rendered and especially to the royalty, the Barber-Surgeons were the most respected and protected men living. They held this respect for thousands of years.

During their practice of surgery, which consisted only of bloodletting or bleeding the disease, a white cloth was used. They would rinse this out leaving blood stains, hang it in the door-way of their business to dry: thus, the origin of our present day barber pole.

As the years passed by the hundreds, this original badge has been changed to the present, attractive glass red and white emblem which represents professional grooming service. The doctors, the dentists and the surgeons have all branched from this original profession long since; however; the barber pole still remains the property of the artistic barbering profession.