Barber's pole
A barber's pole is a type of sign used by barber
A barber is someone whose occupation is to cut any type of hair, and to shave or trim the beards of men. The place of work of a barber is generally called a barbershop....

s to signify the place or shop where they perform their craft. The trade sign is, by a tradition dating back to the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

, a staff or pole
-General:*Poles, people originating from inbitating or inhabiting the country of Poland*Pole -Fictional:*Jill Pole, a fictional character from C. S...

 with a helix
A helix is a type of smooth space curve, i.e. a curve in three-dimensional space. It has the property that the tangent line at any point makes a constant angle with a fixed line called the axis. Examples of helixes are coil springs and the handrails of spiral staircases. A "filled-in" helix – for...

 of colored stripes (usually red, white, and blue in the United States; often red and white in other countries). The pole may be stationary or may revolve, often with the aid of an electric motor
Electric motor
An electric motor converts electrical energy into mechanical energy.Most electric motors operate through the interaction of magnetic fields and current-carrying conductors to generate force...


A "barber's pole" with a helical stripe is a familiar sight, and is used as a secondary metaphor
A metaphor is a literary figure of speech that uses an image, story or tangible thing to represent a less tangible thing or some intangible quality or idea; e.g., "Her eyes were glistening jewels." Metaphor may also be used for any rhetorical figures of speech that achieve their effects via...

 to describe objects in many other contexts. For example, if the shaft or tower of a lighthouse
A lighthouse is a tower, building, or other type of structure designed to emit light from a system of lamps and lenses or, in older times, from a fire, and used as an aid to navigation for maritime pilots at sea or on inland waterways....

 has been painted with a helical stripe as a daymark
A daymark or a day marker is a structure such as a tower constructed on land as an aid to navigation by sailors. While similar in concept to a lighthouse, a daymark does not have a light and so is usually only visible during daylight hours...

, the lighthouse could be described as having been painted in "barber's pole" colors.

Origin in barbering and surgery

The origin of the red and white barber pole is associated with the service of bloodletting
Bloodletting is the withdrawal of often little quantities of blood from a patient to cure or prevent illness and disease. Bloodletting was based on an ancient system of medicine in which blood and other bodily fluid were considered to be "humors" the proper balance of which maintained health...

 and was historically a representation of bloody bandages wrapped around a pole. During medieval times, barbers performed surgery on customers, as well as tooth extractions. The original pole had a brass wash basin at the top (representing the vessel in which leeches were kept) and bottom (representing the basin that received the blood). The pole itself represents the staff that the patient gripped during the procedure to encourage blood flow.

At the Council of Tours
Council of Tours
In the medieval Roman Catholic church there were several Councils of Tours, that city being an old seat of Christianity, and considered fairly centrally located in France. Athenius, Bishop of Rennes, took part in the First Council of Tours in AD 461...

 in 1163, the clergy was banned from the practice of surgery. From then, physicians were clearly separated from the surgeons and barbers. Later, the role of the barbers was defined by the College de Saint Come et Saint Damien, established by Jean Pitard in Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

 circa 1210, as academic surgeons of the long robe and barber surgeons of the short robe.

After the formation of the United Barber Surgeon's Company
Worshipful Company of Barbers
The Worshipful Company of Barbers is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. The organisation's records date as early as 1308, recording Richard le Barber as the first to hold the office of Master....

 in England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

, a statute required the barber to use a blue and white pole and the surgeon to use a red pole. In France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, surgeons used a red pole with a basin attached to identify their offices. Blue often appears on poles in the United States, possibly as an homage to its national colours. Another more fanciful interpretation of these barber pole colours is that red represents arterial blood, blue is symbolic of venous blood, and white depicts the bandage.

Prior to 1950, there were four manufacturers of barber poles in the United States. In 1950, William Marvy of St. Paul, Minnesota, started manufacturing barber poles. Marvy made his 50,000th barber pole in 1967, and, by 2010, over 82,000 had been produced. The William Marvy Company  is now the sole manufacturer of barber poles in North America, and sells only 500 per year (compared to 5,100 in the 1960s). In recent years, the sale of spinning barber poles has dropped considerably, since few barber shops are opening, and many jurisdictions prohibit moving signs. Koken of St. Louis, Missouri, manufactured barber equipment such as chairs and assorted poles in the 19th century.

As early as 1905, use of the poles was reported to be "diminishing" in the United States.

There are locales where use of barber poles on barber shops is required by local ordinance
Local ordinance
A local ordinance is a law usually found in a municipal code.-United States:In the United States, these laws are enforced locally in addition to state law and federal law.-Japan:...


In Forest Grove, Oregon
Forest Grove, Oregon
Forest Grove is a city in Washington County, Oregon, United States, west of Portland. Originally a small farm town, it is now primarily a bedroom suburb of Portland. Settled in the 1840s, the town was platted in 1850 and then incorporated in 1872 and was the first city in Washington County...

, the "World's Tallest Barber Shop Pole" measures 70 feet (21.3 m).

The consistent use of this symbol for advertising was analogous to an apothecary
Apothecary is a historical name for a medical professional who formulates and dispenses materia medica to physicians, surgeons and patients — a role now served by a pharmacist and some caregivers....

's Show globe
Show globe
A show globe is a glass vessel of various shapes and sizes containing a colorful liquid. It has been a symbol of pharmacy from the 17th century England to the early 20th century in the United States. It marked the drugstore or apothecary in much the same way as the barber's pole marked tonsorial...

, a tobacconist
A tobacconist is an expert dealer in tobacco in various forms and the related accoutrements .Such accoutrements include pipes, lighters, matches, pipe cleaners, pipe tampers, ashtrays, humidification devices, hygrometers, humidors, cigar cutters, and more. Books and magazines, especially ones...

's Cigar store indian
Cigar store Indian
The cigar store Indian or wooden Indian is an advertisement figure, in the likeness of an American Indian, made to represent tobacconists, much like: barber poles advertise barber shops; Show globe for an apothecary; or the three gold balls of the pawn shop. The figures are often three-dimensional...

 and a pawn broker's three gold balls.

Use in prostitution

In some parts of Asia, a red, white and blue barber pole is used as a symbol for a brothel
Brothels are business establishments where patrons can engage in sexual activities with prostitutes. Brothels are known under a variety of names, including bordello, cathouse, knocking shop, whorehouse, strumpet house, sporting house, house of ill repute, house of prostitution, and bawdy house...

. While prostitution is illegal in many parts of Asia, laws against it are often not enforced to the degree that all public solicitations for it are eliminated. The barber's pole is used as a euphemistic way of advertising a brothel, thus reducing the likelihood of police intervention.

In South Korea
South Korea
The Republic of Korea , , is a sovereign state in East Asia, located on the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula. It is neighbored by the People's Republic of China to the west, Japan to the east, North Korea to the north, and the East China Sea and Republic of China to the south...

, barber's poles are used both for actual barbershops and for brothels. Brothels disguised as barbershops, referred to as 이발소 (ilbalso) or 이용실 (iyongsil), are more likely to use two poles next to each other, often spinning in opposite directions, though the use of a single pole for the same reason is also quite common. Actual barbershops, or 미용실 (miyongsil), are more likely to be hair salons; to avoid confusion, they will usually use a pole that shows a picture of a woman with flowing hair on it with the words hair salon written on the pole.

Visual illusion

A spinning barber pole creates a visual illusion, in which the stripes appear to be traveling up or down the length of the pole, rather than around it.

Animal husbandry

Haemonchus contortus
Haemonchus contortus
Haemonchus contortus, also known as red stomach worm, wire worm or Barber's pole worm, is very common parasite and one the most pathogenic nematode of ruminants. Adult worms are attached to abomasal mucosa and feed on the blood...

, or "Barber's pole worm", is the parasitic nematode
The nematodes or roundworms are the most diverse phylum of pseudocoelomates, and one of the most diverse of all animals. Nematode species are very difficult to distinguish; over 28,000 have been described, of which over 16,000 are parasitic. It has been estimated that the total number of nematode...

 responsible for anemia
Anemia is a decrease in number of red blood cells or less than the normal quantity of hemoglobin in the blood. However, it can include decreased oxygen-binding ability of each hemoglobin molecule due to deformity or lack in numerical development as in some other types of hemoglobin...

, bottle jaw, and death of infected sheep and goats, mainly during summer months in warm, humid climates. Humans may become infected by the worms.


The Swan portion of M17, the Omega Nebula
Omega Nebula
The Omega Nebula, also known as the Swan Nebula, Checkmark Nebula, Lobster Nebula, and the Horseshoe Nebula is an H II region in the constellation Sagittarius. It was discovered by Philippe Loys de Chéseaux in 1745. Charles Messier catalogued it in 1764...

 in the Sagittarius nebulosity is said to resemble a barber’s pole.

Aviation and space flight

The term on the barber pole is pilot jargon that refers to flying an aircraft at the maximum safe velocity. The Airspeed Indicator
Airspeed indicator
The airspeed indicator or airspeed gauge is an instrument used in an aircraft to display the craft's airspeed, typically in knots, to the pilot.- Use :...

 on aircraft capable of flying at altitude features a red/white striped needle resembling a barber pole. This needle displays the VMO (Maximum Operating Velocity) or—at altitude—the MMO (Mach
Mach number
Mach number is the speed of an object moving through air, or any other fluid substance, divided by the speed of sound as it is in that substance for its particular physical conditions, including those of temperature and pressure...

 Limit Maximum Operating Speed) of the aircraft. This needle also indicates the maximum operating Mach number above the VMO /MMO changeover level. As the aircraft increases in altitude and the air decreases in density and temperature, the speed of sound also decreases. Close to the speed of sound, an aircraft becomes susceptible to buffeting caused by shock waves produced by flying at transonic
Transonic speed is an aeronautics term referring to the condition of flight in which a range of velocities of airflow exist surrounding and flowing past an air vehicle or an airfoil that are concurrently below, at, and above the speed of sound in the range of Mach 0.8 to 1.2, i.e. 600–900 mph...

 speeds. Thus, as the speed of sound decreases, so the maximum safe operating speed of the aircraft is reduced. The "barber pole" needle moves to indicate this speed. Flying "on the barber pole" therefore means to be flying the aircraft as fast as is safe to do so in the current conditions.

Barberpole is a phrase used to describe the striped output of indicators used during the Apollo and Shuttle
Space Shuttle program
NASA's Space Shuttle program, officially called Space Transportation System , was the United States government's manned launch vehicle program from 1981 to 2011...

 programs. Typically the indicator would show all grey or a grey and white striped pattern, known as barberpole, to allow the astronauts a quick visual reference of the status of the spacecraft systems. Various indicators in the Apollo Command Modules indicated barberpole when the corresponding system was inactive. Astronaut Jim Lovell
Jim Lovell
James "Jim" Arthur Lovell, Jr., is a former NASA astronaut and a retired captain in the United States Navy, most famous as the commander of the Apollo 13 mission, which suffered a critical failure en route to the Moon but was brought back safely to Earth by the efforts of the crew and mission...

 can also be found describing system indications as "barber poled" in the transcript of radio transmissions during the Apollo 13 accident.

The phrase barberpole continues to be found in many subsystem descriptions in the Space Shuttle News Reference Manual, as well as the NASA
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research...

Kennedy Space Center
The John F. Kennedy Space Center is the NASA installation that has been the launch site for every United States human space flight since 1968. Although such flights are currently on hiatus, KSC continues to manage and operate unmanned rocket launch facilities for America's civilian space program...

 Acronym List.

During World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 and World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, the pattern has also been used as an insignia
Military aircraft insignia
Military aircraft insignia are insignia applied to military aircraft to identify the nation or branch of military service to which the aircraft belongs...

 for aircraft identification. Spad XIIIs of the 94th Aero Squadron USAS in early 1919 used variations on Barber pole patterns including: 'Barber Pole' of Lt Dudley 'Red' Outcault; S.16546 ' Flag Bus' of Captain Reed Chambers
Reed Chambers
Reed McKinley Chambers was a pioneer in the American Aviation industry, as a flying ace in World War One, as founder of an early airline, and as founder and chairman of America's first aviation insurance company.-Early life and military service:...

; and 'Rising Sun' of Lt John Jeffers.


Red or rubric
A rubric is a word or section of text which is traditionally written or printed in red ink to highlight it. The word derives from the , meaning red ochre or red chalk, and originates in Medieval illuminated manuscripts from the 13th century or earlier...

 posts were sometimes used by booksellers in England prior to 1800. William Roberts reports in The Book Hunter in London that certain 18th-century bookshops in the Little Britain district of London sported such poles:

"A few years before Nichols published [in 1816] his Literary Anecdotes, two booksellers used to sport their rubric posts close to each other here in Little Britain, and these rubric posts were once as much the type of a bookseller's shop as the pole is of a barber's...Sewell, Cornhill, and Kecket and De Hondt, Strand, were among the last to use these curious trade signs."

Border and lane markers

  • Among the Fortifications of the inner German border
    Fortifications of the inner German border
    The fortifications of the inner German border comprised a complex system of interlocking fortifications and security zones long and several kilometres deep, running from the Baltic Sea to Czechoslovakia...

    , 2622 barber pole-styled markers were placed about 500 feet (152.4 m) apart to demarcate the no-man's land between East Germany and West Germany
    West Germany
    West Germany is the common English, but not official, name for the Federal Republic of Germany or FRG in the period between its creation in May 1949 to German reunification on 3 October 1990....

  • The 41 Combat Engineer Regiment, a part of the Canadian Military Engineers
    Canadian Military Engineers
    The Canadian Military Engineers is the military engineer branch of the Canadian Forces.-Mission:The mission of the Canadian Military Engineers is to contribute to the survival, mobility, and combat effectiveness of the Canadian Forces...

    , produced and delivered over 16,000 distinctive barber pole lane markers during World War II
    World War II
    World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...


Canadian Naval Group

The famous Barber Pole Group was originally a group of 120 Flower-class corvettes built in Canada during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, and charged primarily with protecting freighter convoys. The original group was Escort Group C-3. This group of ships, with its red and white barber pole stripes painted on the funnel, is still represented in the current Canadian navy: all Atlantic
Maritime Forces Atlantic
In the Canadian Forces, Maritime Forces Atlantic is responsible for the fleet and operations of the Royal Canadian Navy in the Atlantic Ocean and Arctic Ocean. The Commander of MARLANT is a two-star Rear Admiral....

 fleet ships wear this insignia. HMCS Sackville is the last remaining Flower-class corvette.


The old-fashioned American stick candy
Stick candy
Stick candy is a long, cylindrical variety of hard candy, usually four to seven inches in length and 1/4 to 1/2 inch in diameter, but in some extraordinary cases up to 14 inches in length and two inches in diameter...

 is sometimes also referred to as "barber pole candy" due to its colorful, swirled appearance. See also, Candy cane
Candy cane
A candy cane is a hard cane-shaped candy stick. It is traditionally white with red stripes and flavored with peppermint or cinnamon; however, it is also made in a variety of other flavors and may be decorated with stripes of different colors and thicknesses...

. "Candy stripe
Candy stripe
Candy stripe may refer to:*Candy stripe, the colors of a Candy cane or Barber's pole*Candy stripe, the warm-up style for the Indiana Hoosiers mens basketball team.*Candy striper, a U.S...

" is a generic description of the candy cane color scheme
Color scheme
In color theory, a color scheme is the choice of colors used in design for a range of media. For example, the use of a white background with black text is an example of a basic and commonly default color scheme in web design....

. Among many other names, the candy has been called Polkagris
Polkagris is a Swedish candy stick or straight candy cane that was invented in 1859 in the town of Gränna, Sweden, and remains a popular candy tradition in the town...


Cellular biology

Barber pole like structures have been observed at the cellular level. The effects, origins and causes are controversial, and are subject to intense research.

Computer science

In UI design, a barber pole-like pattern is used in progress bar
Progress bar
A progress bar is a component in a graphical user interface used to convey the progress of a task, such as a download or file transfer. Often, the graphic is accompanied by a textual representation of the progress in a percent format....

s when the wait time is indefinite. It is intended to be used like a throbber
A throbber is a graphic found in a graphical user interface of a computer program that animates to show the user that the program is performing an action .-Typical characteristics:...

 to tell the user that processing is continuing, although it is not known when the processing will complete.

Barber pole is also sometimes used to describe a text pattern where a line of text is rolled left or right one character on the line below. The CHARGEN
The Character Generator Protocol is a service of the Internet Protocol Suite defined in RFC 864 in 1983 by Jon Postel. It is intended for testing, debugging, and measurement purposes....

 service generates a form of this pattern. It is used to test RAM, hard disk
Hard disk
A hard disk drive is a non-volatile, random access digital magnetic data storage device. It features rotating rigid platters on a motor-driven spindle within a protective enclosure. Data is magnetically read from and written to the platter by read/write heads that float on a film of air above the...

s and printers. A similar pattern is also used in secure erasure
In cryptography, zeroisation is the practice of erasing sensitive parameters from a cryptographic module to prevent their disclosure if the equipment is captured. This is generally accomplished by altering or deleting the contents to prevent recovery of the data...

 of media. This may be pictured as:

  1. $%&'*+,-./0123456789:;<=>?@ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ[\]^_`abcdefghij



Stenopus hispidus
Stenopus hispidus
Stenopus hispidus is a shrimp-like decapod crustacean belonging to the infraorder Stenopodidea. Common names include banded coral shrimp and banded cleaner shrimp.-Distribution:...

is a shrimp-like decapod
The decapods or Decapoda are an order of crustaceans within the class Malacostraca, including many familiar groups, such as crayfish, crabs, lobsters, prawns and shrimp. Most decapods are scavengers. It is estimated that the order contains nearly 15,000 species in around 2,700 genera, with...

Crustaceans form a very large group of arthropods, usually treated as a subphylum, which includes such familiar animals as crabs, lobsters, crayfish, shrimp, krill and barnacles. The 50,000 described species range in size from Stygotantulus stocki at , to the Japanese spider crab with a leg span...

 sometimes called the "barber pole shrimp." See also Stenopodidea
The Stenopodidea is a small group of decapod crustaceans. Often confused with shrimp or prawns, they are neither, but belong in a group closer to the reptant decapods, such as lobsters and crabs. They may be easily recognised by their third pereiopod , which is greatly enlarged...


Daymarks as a navigational aid

  • A barber pole motif has been used as a daymark
    A daymark or a day marker is a structure such as a tower constructed on land as an aid to navigation by sailors. While similar in concept to a lighthouse, a daymark does not have a light and so is usually only visible during daylight hours...

     and navigational aid
    Navigational aid
    A navigational aid is any sort of marker which aids the traveler in navigation; the term is most commonly used to refer to nautical or aviation travel...

     for lighthouse
    A lighthouse is a tower, building, or other type of structure designed to emit light from a system of lamps and lenses or, in older times, from a fire, and used as an aid to navigation for maritime pilots at sea or on inland waterways....

    s. The White Shoal Light
    White Shoal Light (Michigan)
    The White Shoal Light is a lighthouse located 20 miles west of the Mackinac Bridge in Lake Michigan. It is an active aid to navigation.-Overview:...

     is the only "barber pole" lighthouse in the United States. However, black and white helical daymarks do appear on other lights, such as Cape Hatteras Light
    Cape Hatteras Light
    Cape Hatteras Light is a lighthouse located on Hatteras Island in the Outer Banks of North Carolina near the community of Buxton, and is part of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore....

     and St. Augustine Light
    St. Augustine Light
    The St. Augustine Light is an active lighthouse on the north end of Anastasia Island, within the current city limits of St. Augustine, Florida. The tower, built in 1874, is owned by the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum, Inc. , a not-for-profit maritime museum and private aid-to-navigation...

  • Barber pole channel markers are sometimes used as they are in the Tamaki River
    Tamaki River
    The Tamaki River is, despite its name, mostly an estuarial arm and harbour of the Hauraki Gulf, within the city of Auckland in New Zealand. It extends south for 15 kilometres from its mouth between the Auckland suburb of Saint Heliers and the long thin peninsula of Bucklands Beach, which reaches...


Dinosaurs with feathers

Sinosauropteryx was the first genus of dinosaur outside of Avialae to be found with evidence of feathers. They were covered with "furry" coats of very simple filament-like feathers...

 (meaning "Chinese reptilian wing", in Chinese 中华龙鸟: zhonghua longniao) is the first genus
In biology, a genus is a low-level taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms, which is an example of definition by genus and differentia...

 of non-avian dinosaur
Dinosaurs are a diverse group of animals of the clade and superorder Dinosauria. They were the dominant terrestrial vertebrates for over 160 million years, from the late Triassic period until the end of the Cretaceous , when the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event led to the extinction of...

 found with the fossilized impressions of feather
Feathers are one of the epidermal growths that form the distinctive outer covering, or plumage, on birds and some non-avian theropod dinosaurs. They are considered the most complex integumentary structures found in vertebrates, and indeed a premier example of a complex evolutionary novelty. They...

s, as well as the first non-avian dinosaur where coloration has been determined. It lived in China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 during the early Cretaceous period and was a close relative of Compsognathus
Compsognathus was a small, bipedal, carnivorous theropod dinosaur. The animal was the size of a turkey and lived around 150 million years ago, the early Tithonian stage of the late Jurassic Period, in what is now Europe. Paleontologists have found two well-preserved fossils, one in Germany...

. It was the first non-avialan
Avialae is a clade of dinosaurs containing their only living representatives, birds , and the most immediate extinct relatives of birds.-Competing definitions:...

 dinosaur genus discovered from the famous Jehol Biota
Jehol Biota
The Jehol Biota includes all the living organisms - the ecosystem - of northeastern China between 133 to 120 million years ago. This is the Lower Cretaceous ecosystem which left fossils in the Yixian Formation and Jiufotang Formation. It is also believed to have left fossils in the Sinuiju series...

 of Liaoning Province. Zhang found "that the filaments running down its back and tail made have made the dinosaur look like and orange-and-white-striped barber pole. Such a vibrant pattern suggest that 'feathers first arose as agents for color display,' Benton says."


The strength and direction of magnetic field and electrical currents can be measured using a "magnetoresistive barber-pole sensor" (also called a "hermetic proximity sensor"), and its performance can be depicted using a mathematical formula. Such a sensor interleaves a series of permanent magnet strips with a series of magnetoresistive strips. The "conductive barberpole strips are canted across the sensor and connect one magnetoresistive strip, over a permanent magnet strip, to another magnetoresistive strip." This is said to provide a "uniform magnetic field
Magnetic field
A magnetic field is a mathematical description of the magnetic influence of electric currents and magnetic materials. The magnetic field at any given point is specified by both a direction and a magnitude ; as such it is a vector field.Technically, a magnetic field is a pseudo vector;...

 throughout the sensor" thereby enhancing its resistance to external magnetic fields. The technology is used in wireless sensor networks which “have gathered a lot of attention as an important research domain” and were “deployed in many applications, e.g., navigation
Navigation is the process of monitoring and controlling the movement of a craft or vehicle from one place to another. It is also the term of art used for the specialized knowledge used by navigators to perform navigation tasks...

, military, ambient intelligence
Ambient intelligence
In computing, ambient intelligence refers to electronic environments that are sensitive and responsive to the presence of people. Ambient intelligence is a vision on the future of consumer electronics, telecommunications and computing that was originally developed in the late 1990s for the time...

, medical, and industrial tasks. Context-based processing and services, in particular location-context, are of key interest .. .” (See Music (acoustic illusion), infra.)


In the bug world, there is the Barber pole grasshopper
The grasshopper is an insect of the suborder Caelifera in the order Orthoptera. To distinguish it from bush crickets or katydids, it is sometimes referred to as the short-horned grasshopper...

, Dactylotum bicolor
Dactylotum bicolor
Dactylotum bicolor, known as the "barber-pole grasshopper" or the "rainbow grasshopper", lives from southern Saskatchewan south to Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, western and central Texas and into Mexico....

. It is also known as the “painted grasshopper” and is said to be the "most beautiful" grasshopper.


Allotropa virgata
Allotropa virgata
Allotropa virgata is in the family Ericaceae and is the only species of the genus Allotropa. It is a perennial plant that gets its common names from the distinct white and red or maroon stripes along its erect peduncle. A...

is in the family Ericaceae
The Ericaceae, commonly known as the heath or heather family, is a group of mostly calcifuge flowering plants. The family is large, with roughly 4000 species spread across 126 genera, making it the 14th most speciose family of flowering plants...

 (Heath Family) and is the only species of the genus Allotropa. It is a perennial plant
Perennial plant
A perennial plant or simply perennial is a plant that lives for more than two years. The term is often used to differentiate a plant from shorter lived annuals and biennials. The term is sometimes misused by commercial gardeners or horticulturalists to describe only herbaceous perennials...

 that gets its common names from the erect peduncle
Peduncle (botany)
In botany, a peduncle is a stem supporting an inflorescence, or after fecundation, an infructescence.The peduncle is a stem, usually green and without leaves, though sometimes colored or supporting small leaves...

 marked by distinct white and red or maroon stripes. Lacking chlorophyll
Chlorophyll is a green pigment found in almost all plants, algae, and cyanobacteria. Its name is derived from the Greek words χλωρος, chloros and φύλλον, phyllon . Chlorophyll is an extremely important biomolecule, critical in photosynthesis, which allows plants to obtain energy from light...

, they are not green, and obtain nutrients from neighboring green plants through a fungal intermediate. It feeds exclusively on Matsutake
Matsutake is the common name for a highly sought after mycorrhizal mushroom that grows in Asia, Europe, and North America...

A mushroom is the fleshy, spore-bearing fruiting body of a fungus, typically produced above ground on soil or on its food source. The standard for the name "mushroom" is the cultivated white button mushroom, Agaricus bisporus; hence the word "mushroom" is most often applied to those fungi that...

thumb|right|Fungal myceliaMycelium is the vegetative part of a fungus, consisting of a mass of branching, thread-like hyphae. The mass of hyphae is sometimes called shiro, especially within the fairy ring fungi. Fungal colonies composed of mycelia are found in soil and on or within many other...

. Common names include Sugarstick, Sugar-stick, Candystriped allotropa and Barber's Pole.


Used in flyfishing, Au Sable River
Au Sable River (Michigan)
The Au Sable River in Michigan runs approximately through the northern Lower Peninsula, through the towns of Grayling and Mio, and enters Lake Huron at Oscoda. It is considered one of the best brown trout fisheries east of the Rockies and has been designated a blue ribbon trout stream by the...

 guide Earl Madsen’s "Madsen's Barber pole" is a traditional Michigan fly in the form of a “Stonefly" imitation "with grizzly hackle tip wings tied in a downwing fashion." Photo of Madsen's Barber Pole Fly, parachute form.


The phrase barber pole is derisive jargon in craps
Craps is a dice game in which players place wagers on the outcome of the roll, or a series of rolls, of a pair of dice. Players may wager money against each other or a bank...

, and refers to the commingling of "gaming cheques
Casino token
Casino tokens are small discs used in lieu of currency in casinos. Colored metal, injection molded plastic or compression molded clay tokens of various denominations are used primarily in table games, as opposed to metal token coins, used primarily in slot machines...

 of different denominations." Wagers that combine different denominations are "supposed to be stacked with the highest denomination at the bottom."


  • In the 1896-97 season, the Ottawa Senators (original)
    Ottawa Senators (original)
    The Ottawa Senators were an amateur, and later, professional, ice hockey team based in Ottawa, Canada which existed from 1883 to 1954. The club was the first hockey club in Ontario, a founding member of the National Hockey League and played in the NHL from 1917 until 1934...

     first adopted the "barber pole" design for their Hockey jersey
    Hockey jersey
    A hockey jersey, traditionally called a sweater , is a piece of clothing worn by hockey players to cover the upper part of their bodies. "Sweater" is the correct reference in Canada, despite the material...

    , with which the team became identified. The design featured strong horizontal stripes of red, black and white; white pants; and red, white and black striped stockings. Except for the 1909-10 season, this basic design would be used for the rest of the organization's existence, except for one season, 1909–10 In that season, the stripes were vertical and Montreal fans nicknamed the team derisively as 'les suisses', a slang term for chipmunk
    Chipmunks are small striped squirrels native to North America and Asia. They are usually classed either as a single genus with three subgenera, or as three genera.-Etymology and taxonomy:...

    . In the 1929–30 season
    1929–30 Ottawa Senators season
    The 1929–30 Ottawa Senators season was the club's 13th season in the NHL, 45th overall.The Senators finished third in the Canadian Division, making the playoffs, losing in the first round to the New York Rangers...

    , the club added the "O" logo to the chest of the jersey. The "barber-pole" uniform was later adopted by the Ottawa 67's
    Ottawa 67's
    The Ottawa 67’s are a junior ice hockey team based in Ottawa, Ontario. They have played in the Ontario Hockey League since 1967, Canada's centennial year. The current coach is Chris Byrne.-History:...

     junior hockey team.
  • The National Hockey League
    National Hockey League
    The National Hockey League is an unincorporated not-for-profit association which operates a major professional ice hockey league of 30 franchised member clubs, of which 7 are currently located in Canada and 23 in the United States...

    's Montreal Canadiens
    Montreal Canadiens
    The Montreal Canadiens are a professional ice hockey team based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. They are members of the Northeast Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League . The club is officially known as ...

     had a barber pole or "barber shop" design jersey for the year 1912-1913.
  • In the 1920s and 1930s, beginning in the 1927-28 season, the Senators, Boston Bruins
    Boston Bruins
    The Boston Bruins are a professional ice hockey team based in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. They are members of the Northeast Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League . The team has been in existence since 1924, and is the league's third-oldest team and its oldest in the...

    , Montreal Maroons
    Montreal Maroons
    The Montreal Maroons was a professional men's ice hockey team in the National Hockey League . They played in the NHL from 1924 to 1938, winning the Stanley Cup in 1926 and 1935...

    , Chicago Blackhawks
    Chicago Blackhawks
    The Chicago Blackhawks are a professional ice hockey team based in Chicago, Illinois. They are members of the Central Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League . They have won four Stanley Cup championships since their founding in 1926, most recently coming in 2009-10...

    , Detroit Cougars
    History of the Detroit Red Wings
    The history of the Detroit Red Wings begins with the Detroit Red Wings joining the National Hockey League in 1926. With the demise of the Western Canada Hockey League , the rights to the players of the Victoria Cougars, were purchased by a Detroit group. The new NHL franchise began play as the...

    , and Toronto Maple Leafs
    Toronto Maple Leafs
    The Toronto Maple Leafs are a professional ice hockey team based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. They are members of the Northeast Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League...

     had a barber’s pole variation in their jerseys. Meanwhile, the New York Americans
    New York Americans
    The New York Americans were a professional ice hockey team based in New York, New York from 1925 to 1942. They were the third expansion team in the history of the National Hockey League and the second to play in the United States. The team never won the Stanley Cup, but reached the semifinals...

    , wore “basically . . . the United States flag as a jersey.” The style endured, but in the 1938-39 season, the Blackhawks were the last to have a barber pole jersey in the traditional sense. The Hawks retired their barber-pole at the end of the 1954-55 season.
  • In junior ranks, the Chicoutimi Sagueneens
    Chicoutimi Saguenéens
    The Chicoutimi Saguenéens are a junior ice hockey team in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. The team is based out of Chicoutimi, Quebec . The team plays its home games at the Centre Georges-Vézina.-History:...

     and the Ottawa 67's
    Ottawa 67's
    The Ottawa 67’s are a junior ice hockey team based in Ottawa, Ontario. They have played in the Ontario Hockey League since 1967, Canada's centennial year. The current coach is Chris Byrne.-History:...

     used them in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League
    Quebec Major Junior Hockey League
    The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League is one of the three major junior ice hockey leagues which constitute the Canadian Hockey League...

     (QMJHL). See also Seattle Metropolitans
    Seattle Metropolitans
    The Seattle Metropolitans were a professional ice hockey team based in Seattle, Washington which played in the Pacific Coast Hockey Association from 1915 to 1924. They won the Stanley Cup in 1917, becoming the first American team to do so...

  • The style remained dormant until the National Hockey League 75th anniversary. Internet Radio
    Internet radio
    Internet radio is an audio service transmitted via the Internet...

     commentator Scotty Wazz described them as “more traditional than tacky” when they were temporarily revived. See NHL uniform
    NHL uniform
    Players in the National Hockey League wear a uniform which allows their team affiliation to be easily identified, unifying the image of the team...

     and Throwback uniform
    Throwback uniform
    Throwback uniforms and jerseys are one-time or limited-time variations on a sports team's uniforms styled to resemble uniforms from that team's past. They have proven popular in all major pro and college sports in the USA, not only with fans, but with the teams' marketing and merchandising...



Because of its bright bands and colors, the redbanded rockfish Sebastes babcocki
Sebastes is a genus of fish in the family Sebastidae , most of which have the common name of rockfish. Most of the world's almost 110 Sebastes species live in the north Pacific, although two live in the south Pacific/Atlantic and four Sebastes is a genus of fish in the family Sebastidae (though...

is referred to as "barber pole". Other pseudonyms include bandit, convict, canary, hollywood, and Spanish flag.


Matthew Walker's knot is a decorative knot
A knot is a method of fastening or securing linear material such as rope by tying or interweaving. It may consist of a length of one or several segments of rope, string, webbing, twine, strap, or even chain interwoven such that the line can bind to itself or to some other object—the "load"...

 used to keep the end of a rope from fraying and said to resemble a barber's pole.


The "Barberpole group" is an essential repertoire of 12 songs that every barber shop quartet should know.

Music (acoustic illusion)

See also Shepard
Roger Shepard
Roger Newland Shepard is a cognitive scientist and author of Toward a Universal Law of Generalization for Psychological Science. He is seen as a father of research on spatial relations....

Shepard tone
A Shepard tone, named after Roger Shepard, is a sound consisting of a superposition of sine waves separated by octaves. When played with the base pitch of the tone moving upward or downward, it is referred to as the Shepard scale. This creates the auditory illusion of a tone that continually...

, Deutsch
Diana Deutsch
Diana Deutsch is a British-American perceptual and cognitive psychologist, born in London, England. She is currently Professor of Psychology at the University of California, San Diego, and is one of the most prominent researchers on the psychology of music...

 tritone paradox
Tritone paradox
The tritone paradox is an auditory illusion in which a sequentially played pair of Shepard tones separated by an interval of a tritone, or half octave, is heard as ascending by some people and as descending by others. Different populations tend to favor one of a limited set of different spots...

 and Pitch circularity
Pitch circularity
Pitch is often defined as extending along a one-dimensional continuum from high to low, as can be experienced by sweeping one’s hand up or down a piano keyboard. This continuum is known as pitch height...

  • The Shepard tone has been described as "a sonic barber pole." and an auditory illusion
    Auditory illusion
    An auditory illusion is an illusion of hearing, the aural equivalent of an optical illusion: the listener hears either sounds which are not present in the stimulus, or "impossible" sounds...

  • "Barberpole Flanger" are algorithm
    In mathematics and computer science, an algorithm is an effective method expressed as a finite list of well-defined instructions for calculating a function. Algorithms are used for calculation, data processing, and automated reasoning...

    s that offers simple Barberpole Flanging
    Flanging is an audio effect produced by mixing two identical signals together, with one signal delayed by a small and gradually changing period, usually smaller than 20 milliseconds. This produces a swept comb filter effect: peaks and notches are produced in the resultant frequency spectrum,...

     implementation, and is known also as "infinite flanging". Similar to the Shepard tone effect, the sweep of the “flanged sound seems to move in only one direction ('up' or 'down') infinitely, instead of sweeping back-and-forth.”
  • "Barber-pole phaser". Roger Shepard
    Roger Shepard
    Roger Newland Shepard is a cognitive scientist and author of Toward a Universal Law of Generalization for Psychological Science. He is seen as a father of research on spatial relations....

    's original work used a computer program written by Max Mathews
    Max Mathews
    Max Vernon Mathews was a pioneer in the world of computer music.-Biography:...

    . However the same type of effect can be accomplished using an analog synthesizer
    Analog synthesizer
    An analog or analogue synthesizer is a synthesizer that uses analog circuits and analog computer techniques to generate sound electronically. The earliest analog synthesizers in the 1920s and 1930s such as the Trautonium were built with a variety of vacuum-tube and electro-mechanical technologies...

     controlled by a gadget which may be called a "Shepard Function Generator". Harald Bode
    Harald Bode
    Harald Bode was a German engineer and pioneer in the development of electronic music instruments.- Biography :...

     (inventor of the vocorder) invented an off-the-rack device called a "barber-pole phaser" which was marketed in the 1980s. See also, Buchla 200 series Electric Music Box
    Buchla 200 series Electric Music Box
    The Buchla 200 series Electric Music Box is an electronic musical instrument manufactured by Buchla & Associates in Berkeley, California from 1970-1982. It is a modular analog system consisting of a collection of individual modules...

     and Buchla 200e
    Buchla 200e
    The Buchla 200e is a modular synthesizer designed by electronic music pioneer Don Buchla and built by Buchla and Associates.- History :The 200e is based on the earlier Model 200 system. Many of the modules in the 200e series share similar functionality and layout with Model 200 modules, and...



  • The Screaming Eagles 101st Airborne Division
    101st Airborne Division
    The 101st Airborne Division—the "Screaming Eagles"—is a U.S. Army modular light infantry division trained for air assault operations. During World War II, it was renowned for its role in Operation Overlord, the D-Day landings on 6 June 1944, in Normandy, France, Operation Market Garden, the...

     (Air Assault
    Air assault
    Air assault is the movement of ground-based military forces by vertical take-off and landing aircraft—such as the helicopter—to seize and hold key terrain which has not been fully secured, and to directly engage enemy forces...

    ) Command Parachute
    A parachute is a device used to slow the motion of an object through an atmosphere by creating drag, or in the case of ram-air parachutes, aerodynamic lift. Parachutes are usually made out of light, strong cloth, originally silk, now most commonly nylon...

     Demonstration Team, which operates out of Fort Campbell, Kentucky
    Fort Campbell, Kentucky
    Fort Campbell is a United States Army installation located astraddle the Kentucky-Tennessee border between Hopkinsville, Kentucky, and Clarksville, Tennessee...

    , executes a ‘barber pole maneuver’ (also known as "the Baton Pass") during demonstrations. Two jumpers leave the aircraft and fly their bodies together to link while in free fall
    Free fall
    Free fall is any motion of a body where gravity is the only force acting upon it, at least initially. These conditions produce an inertial trajectory so long as gravity remains the only force. Since this definition does not specify velocity, it also applies to objects initially moving upward...

    . "Once together they will then exchange a wooden baton . . . [and] maneuver their bodies ... to create the illusion of a giant barber pole in the sky."
  • Alternatively, a "Four Man Star” can “Hook Up” and then the formation rotates to the right, creating a “Barber Pole” effect with use of trailing smoke.
  • Another parachuting use of the term describes having a mess of lines tangled “behind your head and you have to cut away your main chute and pull your reserve.”


Barbasol is an American brand of shaving cream, body wash, and aftershave, founded in 1921 in Indianapolis, Indiana. It is currently owned by Perio, Inc.-The Invention of Barbasol:...

 cans use a barber pole motif. Barbasol Can image. The can's motif is a registered trademark of Barbasol.


  • According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration , pronounced , like "noah", is a scientific agency within the United States Department of Commerce focused on the conditions of the oceans and the atmosphere...

    , barber pole is a slang
    Slang is the use of informal words and expressions that are not considered standard in the speaker's language or dialect but are considered more acceptable when used socially. Slang is often to be found in areas of the lexicon that refer to things considered taboo...

     term used by weather and storm spotters to describe "a thunderstorm
    A thunderstorm, also known as an electrical storm, a lightning storm, thundershower or simply a storm is a form of weather characterized by the presence of lightning and its acoustic effect on the Earth's atmosphere known as thunder. The meteorologically assigned cloud type associated with the...

     updraft with a visual appearance including cloud
    A cloud is a visible mass of liquid droplets or frozen crystals made of water and/or various chemicals suspended in the atmosphere above the surface of a planetary body. They are also known as aerosols. Clouds in Earth's atmosphere are studied in the cloud physics branch of meteorology...

    Striations means a series of ridges, furrows or linear marks, and are used in several ways* Glacial striation* Striation , a striation as a result of a geological fault* In medicine, striated muscle...

    s that are curved in a manner similar to the stripes of a barber pole. The structure typically is most pronounced on the leading edge of the updraft, while drier air from the rear flank downdraft often erodes the clouds on the trailing side of the updraft." See Supercell
    A supercell is a thunderstorm that is characterized by the presence of a mesocyclone: a deep, continuously-rotating updraft. For this reason, these storms are sometimes referred to as rotating thunderstorms...

    . Supercell/barber's pole photograph.
  • A lynchpin of the NOAA National Hurricane Research Laboratory
    National Hurricane Research Laboratory
    The National Hurricane Research Laboratory was formed in December 1964 out of the National Hurricane Research Project, the U. S. Weather Bureau's effort to scientifically examine tropical cyclones in order to make better predictions. Laboratory status signified that this effort was now a...

    's hurricane-research fleet is the Lockheed WP-3D Orion (P-3). It has two barber-pole samplers (named for their red-and-white stripes) which protrude from the aircraft’s front, a tail Doppler weather radar
    Weather radar
    Weather radar, also called weather surveillance radar and Doppler weather radar, is a type of radar used to locate precipitation, calculate its motion, estimate its type . Modern weather radars are mostly pulse-Doppler radars, capable of detecting the motion of rain droplets in addition to the...

    , and other unique-looking instruments hanging from the wing.

Further reading

and audio. at Google books and at Project Gutenberg.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.