Early 20th century barber pole with original paint and standing 6' tall. A recent article written by Dr. Chris Lowther states "Everyone knows the red and white pole that may still be seen marking the barbershop. However, did you know that this is a medieval symbol of the barber surgeon? Surgery which involved the shedding of blood was delegated to lay servants, the Barbitonsres, who attended to the tonsure of the priests. Bleeding, extraction of teeth, and care of the less serious wounds were undertaken by these monastic barbers. Following medieval custom, they displayed a special emblem. The pole represents the phlebotomist's staff, which was grasped by the patient while an arm vein was incised. The red stripe represented the fillet, a bandage which was put around the arm above the elbow to constrict the veins."