1800’s Barber & Dentist

1800s Barbershop
The Barbershop More Than Meets The Eye

In the early 1800’s barbering was a trade that practiced more than just cutting hair.  Imagine saying to your barber,  “A little off the top and, oh, by the way, I have this toothache.”  That’s right, the town barber was also the town dentist.  Not only did he cut hair and pull teeth, this fellow was also practiced in the skill of blood letting and curing infections with leeches.  In fact, the red and white barber pole seen in front of barbershops originated sometime in the 1500s in England.  The red brass top was the vessel holding leeches, the red strip indicated that the practitioner did blood letting. 


 In the early 1800s barbering was a trade that practiced more than just cutting hair.  Imagine saying to your barber,  “A little off the top and, oh, by the way, I have this toothache.”  That’s right, the town barber was also the town dentist.  Not only did he cut hair and pull teeth, this fellow was also practiced in the skill of blood letting and curing infections with leeches.  In fact, the red and white barber pole seen in front of barbershops originated sometime in the 1500s in England.  The red brass top was the vessel holding leeches, the red strip indicated that the practitioner did blood letting.  The pole is what the customer/patient/victim would hold on to if a shot of whiskey wasn’t enough to ease the pain and the twisted red and white stripes represented the bloody cloth bandages that would be washed and hung out to dry.  The bandages would often twist in the wind while they dried and somehow this symbolism all came together in the barber poles we see today.  At some point, the red white and blue striped pole came into fashion, perhaps celebrating the national colors of the United States of America. It is amazing just how far things have come!   I wonder what my dentist would think if I asked him for a haircut today?  BS 001BS 002BS 003 THANK YOU to This Is The Place State Park in Utah for the wonderful resources they share. 

Click HERE for their site.

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2014

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today 



Comments

  1. Really didn’t know anything about this and you definitely gave me a history lesson here. The thought of leeches and blood letting though really got me and just so glad this is no longer a common practice here at all. Thanks though for sharing and taking us back a bit today, Carrie :)

  2. Carrie,

    I love learning about the 1800’s and how people lived back them. I also truly love your pictures.
    stumbled, tweeted, and pinned!
    Blessings,
    Diane Roark

  3. Love the history lessons, Carrie! Thanks so much for sharing with the Let’s Get Real Party. We are starting a Facebook group for Let’s Get Real bloggers as a place where we can get to know each other a bit better and support each other’s blogs. We would love to have you join. If you’re interested, please send the email address for your personal FB page (we aren’t able to add people from their blog pages) to me at gc @ calmhealthysexy.com and I will send you an invitation to the group.

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