No matter which barber shop you visit in the United States, you will more than likely see a barber pole hanging around. At Dave’s Barber in Woodstock, GA, the classic pole and colors around the shop as well. The history surrounding the barber shop and barber pole is quite interesting.
The barber pole as a trade sign goes back to the Middle Ages. The colors, red, white, and blue is typical to the United States, but red and white are the traditional colors in other countries. The red and white colors wrapped around the pole represent bloody bandages. In medieval times, barbers not only performed haircuts, but they also offered surgery and tooth extraction. Bloodletting was also a popular practice, with the assistance of leeches.
Of course, barbers don’t practice surgery or blood letting these days, but we do perform the best haircuts and straight razor shaves for men. Barber poles are still looked to as a sign for an establishment providing men’s haircuts. By 2010, over 82,000 barber poles had been produced by the largest manufacturer of the poles in the United States, the William Marvy Company. They are now the sole manufacturer of barber poles in the United States.
While the production of barber poles has dropped significantly over the years, they still remain as the iconic symbol for mens haircuts and modern barbering.