The history of the barber pole and its classic red and white stripes is well known. The original barber-surgeons of the Middle Ages and Renaissance provided a variety of medical services such as cutting hair, tooth extractions, minor surgery and blood letting. It is the practice of blood letting that epitomizes the classic spiral red and white barber pole. The barber-surgeons were competitive to the more academic surgeons of the time. They often were relatively uneducated but their cheaper prices and greater access made their services more widely available. The barber surgeon and the academic surgeon were forced into a single medical union (Barber-Surgeons Company) in 1540 by Henry VIII but they never got along well. They were required to distinguish their services by the colors of the pole (blue and white for barber surgeons and red and white for surgeons) They formally separated two hundred years later in 1745, however, due to ongoing tensions. Extrapolating from that time forward, and showing the importance of education (study of anatomy and physiology), the barber-surgeons regressed to becoming strictly barbers while surgeons have evolved into what we know today. I have read numerous times that Plastic Surgery evolved from the barber surgeons, but that is not exactly true. Plastic surgery came from a surgeon, specifically the Italian surgeon Gaspare Tagliocozzi in the late 1500s, who was known for his reconstructive work in noses, lips and ears.