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Profiles

  • Reuben Charles Martin (1905 - 1993)
    Son of Charles Augustus & Carrie Miranda (Armstrong) Martin. At the time of the 1910 U.S. Census, his family was living in Berkshire, VT along the road that goes from Berkshire Center to the Canadian b...
  • Charles Howard Mathis (1892 - 1965)
    Update 4/23/2019(CLM): Note: BIOGRAPHY: Married Margaret (Maggie) Cochran, 3/26/1916. Children: Howard and Nina Lee, who married Ray Swaney. Ray and Nina Lee's daughter Pat Swaney Thomas is the one who...
  • Homer Wallace Harrison (1884 - 1955)
    Update6/16/2018(CLM): Homer Wallace Harrison was a devoted Father and Husband. He was the youngest of 5 and 4 living biological siblings , one child of unknown sex ,two half brothers and one half siste...
  • Kenneth L. Elam (1931 - 2016)
    ELAM, Kenneth L. "House Doctor" 85, of Middletown, died Saturday, December 3, 2016, at Hospice of Butler & Warren Counties. He was born in Menifee County, Kentucky on August 15, 1931 to parents William...
  • William Dellums (c.1885 - 1931)
    William Dellums was sentenced to prison for 5 years for robbery on June 15, 1904 in Huntsville, TX. He was discharged on October 5, 1908. Source - Ancestry.com. Texas, Convict and Conduct Registers...

A barber (from the Latin barba, "beard") is a person whose occupation is mainly to cut, dress, groom, style and shave men's and boys' hair. A barber's place of work is known as a "barber shop" or a "barber's". Barber shops are also places of social interaction and public discourse. In some instances, barbershops are also public forums. They are the locations of open debates, voicing public concerns, and engaging citizens in discussions about contemporary issues. They were also influential in helping shape male identity.

In previous times, barbers (known as barber surgeons) also performed surgery and dentistry. With the development of safety razors and the decreasing prevalence of beards, in English-speaking cultures, most barbers now specialize in cutting men's scalp hair as opposed to facial hair.

The barber's trade has a long history: razors have been found among relics of the Bronze Age (around 3500 BC) in Egypt. In ancient Egyptian culture, barbers were highly respected individuals. Priests and men of medicine are the earliest recorded examples of barbers. In some early tribes[which?], a barber was one of the most important members, as it was believed that certain evil spirits could enter a person's body through their hair, and that cutting it was a way to drive them out. Due to their spiritual and religious beliefs, barbers even performed religious ceremonies, such as marriages and baptizing children. During these ceremonies, they would leave people's hair hanging down until after dancing; they would then cut the hair and tie it back tightly so that no evil spirits could enter and no good spirits could escape.[citation needed]

Men in Ancient Greece would have their beards, hair, and fingernails trimmed and styled by the κουρεύς (cureus), in an agora (market place) which also served as a social gathering for debates and gossip.

Barbering was introduced to Rome by the Greek colonies in Sicily in 296 BC, and barber shops quickly became very popular centres for daily news and gossip. A morning visit to the tonsor became a part of the daily routine, as important as the visit to the public baths, and a young man's first shave (tonsura) was considered an essential part of his coming of age ceremony.

A few Roman tonsores became wealthy and influential, running shops that were favourite public locations of high society; however, most were simple tradesmen, who owned small storefronts or worked in the streets for low prices.

Starting from the Middle Ages, barbers often served as surgeons and dentists. In addition to haircutting, hairdressing, and shaving, barbers performed surgery, bloodletting and leeching, fire cupping, enemas, and the extraction of teeth; earning them the name "barber surgeons". The barber pole, featuring red and white spiraling stripes, symbolized different aspects of the craft. Barbers received higher pay than surgeons until surgeons were entered into British warships during naval wars. Some of the duties of the barber included neck manipulation, cleansing of ears and scalp, draining of boils, fistula and lancing of cysts with wicks.