Ever wonder where barber poles originated?
October 29, 2001 5:40 PM   Subscribe

Ever wonder where barber poles originated? "Yeah, I'd like it short in the back and a little off the sides. Oh, and how about yanking this infected molar, while you're at it? And I need to have this boil lanced...."
posted by mrmanley (6 comments total)
In the Middle Ages, medicine was still in its infancy. The art of healing was conducted not by physicians, but by barbers. The medieval barbers were the forerunners of today's men of medicine, and many of the techniques they developed are still practiced today. This is the story of one such barber Theodoric of York.
posted by xiffix at 5:59 PM on October 29, 2001

In the far east (well, Taiwan, anyway) there are barber shops everywhere. They usually have large, obvious barber poles out front with green and white stripes and other wild designs. The uninformed tourist might assume that the locals are really commited to their tonsorial duties. When I visited Taiwan a few years ago, I quickly figured out that men did indeed frequent these establishments but weren't getting their hair cut.
posted by khisel at 6:09 PM on October 29, 2001

khisel: So you're NOT going to tell us what they were getting cut there? What good are you?
posted by realjanetkagan at 6:31 PM on October 29, 2001

You see, NOW we're learning.

posted by hotdoughnutsnow at 8:48 PM on October 29, 2001

I don't believe this story. Why would they wash the bandages if they were still going to be red when they were hung out to dry later? Can you have a clean red bandage, and if so, why are you also using white ones?
posted by bingo at 12:11 AM on October 30, 2001

Korea is the same, khisel. Multiple, reverse geared barber poles, barber pole upon barber pole, reaching skyward in a mesmerizic spinning psychedelic paroxysm of red, white and blue. Advertising services that go somewhat beyond the standard short back'n'sides.

realjanetkagan : Suffice to say my wife prefers that I not get a haircut unaccompanied. Not that I'd...no what I mean is...ah hell now I've done it.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:39 AM on October 30, 2001

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