Some barbering history

  The word "barber" comes from the Latin word "barba," meaning beard.  It may surprise you to know that the earliest records of barbers show that they were the foremost men of their tribe.  They were the medicine men and the priests.  But primitive man was very superstitious and the early tribes believed that both good and bad spirits, which entered the body through the hairs on the head, inhabited every individual.  The bad spirits could only be driven out of the individual by cutting the hair, so various fashions of hair cutting were practiced by the different tribes and this made the barber the most important man in the community.

Shaving, beards and heads


  In Egypt, barbers were prosperous and highly respected.  The ancient monuments and papyrus show that the Egyptians shaved their beards and their heads.  The Egyptian priests even went so far as to shave the entire body every third day.  At this time the barbers carried their tools in open- mouthed baskets and their razors were shaped like small hatchets and had curved handles.    In Greece, barbers came into prominence as early as the fifth century, BC.  These wise men of Athens rivaled each other in the excellence of their beards.  Beard trimming became an art and barbers became leading citizens.  Statesmen, poets and philosophers, who came to have their hair cut or their beards trimmed or curled and scented with costly essences, frequented their shops. And, incidentally, they came to discuss the news of the day, because the barber shops of ancient Greece were the headquarters for social, political, and sporting news.   In the third century, BC, the Macedonians under Alexander the Great began their conquest of Asia and lost several battles to the Persians who grabbed the Macedonians by their beards, pulled them to the ground and speared them.  This resulted in a general order by Alexander that all soldiers be clean-shaven.  The civilians followed the example of the soldiers and beards lost their vogue.  Barbers were unknown in Rome until 296 BC, when Ticinius Mena came to Rome from Sicily and introduced shaving.  Shaving soon became the fashion and the barber shop became the gathering place for the Roman dandies. No people were better patrons of the barbers than the Romans.

The barber pole origin

The modern barber pole originated in the days when bloodletting was one of the principal duties of the barber.  The two spiral ribbons painted around the pole represent the two long bandages, one twisted around the arm before bleeding and the other used to bind is afterward.  Originally, when not in use, the pole with a bandage wound around it, so that both might be together when needed, was hung at the door as a sign.  But later, for convenience, instead of hanging out the original pole, another one was painted in imitation of it and given a permanent place on the outside of the shop.  This was the beginning of the modern barber pole.
© Copyright 2013-18 all rights reserved Mr. Ray’s Barber Shop 445 State Rd. 13N Fruit Cove, FL
Mr. Ray’s Barber Shop
Jeff Wentz, Barber/Proprietor
Est.1993 Follow us on