Friday, 27 March 2009

Bloodletting and the Barber Shop Pole

Many of us are familiar with the candy-cane striped barber shop pole, but some are less familiar with the origin of the symbol.

Historical accounts vary in exactly how and when the red and white striped poles were created, but they all have one thing in common: bloodletting. In the old days (some would argue going back to Victorian times, other would go back to the days of Hippocrates), barbers performed more duties than just cutting hair - back then they also performed dentistry and surgical acts [2]. Historically, bloodletting was a very popular practice. People believed that bleeding was healthy for you, and helped to fight disease and infection.

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