Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Mission

The "barber" in Barber-Surgeon

19 posts in this topic

I was just wading through the 1639 edition of Woodall's The surgions mate (All previous quotes I entered are from the the 1617 edition) and I found this neat bit on barbering.

“If the Surgeons Mate cannot trimme men, then by due consequence there is to be a Barber of the ships Company, and he ought not to be wanting of these following necessaries.

One Barbours case, containing,

Rasours foure.

Scissers two paire.

Combes three.

Combes-brush one.

Bare-picker one.

Curling Instruments. [Rods for curling hair. Yep - a curling iron. No kidding.]

Turning Instruments and Spunges.

Mallet one. [For the fleem. Although that WB cartoon about the cavemen where the barber pounds the one long hair in with a hammer certainly came to my mind.]

Gravers two.

Flegme one. [Fleem for bloodletting.]

Paring knives two. [For nails.]

Looking glasse one.

Aprons three.

Shaving towels twelve.

Water-pot one.

Sweet water one.

Washing-bols lesse or more.

Hoane one.

Whet-stone one.

Basons two.

And what else is necessary to the Barbers profession, as the expert Barber better knoweth.” (Woodall, 1639, p. 70?)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the Hoane would be the for Fine tune sharpening the razours(or other instruments)...after the rough sharpening of the whett stone

could be leather, canvas, or soft wood like balsa

thanks for sharring

Edited by M.A.d'Dogge

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
the Hoane would be the for Fine tune sharpening the razours(or other instruments)...after the rough sharpening of the whett stone

could be leather, canvas, or soft wood like balsa

thanks for sharring

So a "Hoane" would be a more period appropriate term for a "strop" in this instance? Good to know, thanks for clearing that up!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How would one know which is more appropriate since both terms go back to the middle ages...? do both terms actually refer to the leather device or only the strop?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have noticed that surgical manuals tend to refer to same things (tools in particular) by different names. Usually they call them different things in different books, but, like everything else in the splendid world of 16th/17th c. grammar, they sometimes refer to the same device by two different names in the same book. The trephine/trepan/trapan/trepain/etc. comes to mind. One of the authors very specifically delineates the difference between a trephine and a trepan (I believe it's Woodall) while others use the terms interchangeably.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

too true...good point

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was just wading through the 1639 edition of Woodall's The surgions mate (All previous quotes I entered are from the the 1617 edition) and I found this neat bit on barbering.

is woodall's 1617 or 1639 surgions mate viewable online?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not that I'm aware of. I got it from a library database. See this post for how you can go about doing that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This is a kind of interesting overview article about the history of barbers with a bit about surgery. The more interesting bits (to me) are primarily about the organization of the guilds. (The barbers and surgeons were in the same guild during period.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

“The services of a Barber to shave were more often used in the past than today. The steel of the razor was very expensive (more than a pikeman’s tuck or sword) and most men did not have the time, money, skill or courage to do it themselves. A man would go to a barber once or twice a week to be shaved. Samuel Pepys used pumice to smooth his face before developing the courage and skill to shave himself with an open razor. He went from once a week to daily, which was unusual, as said previously. Why he did it, we do not know. Perhaps he liked to save money, liked a challenge, or did not like anybody near him with a razor! To smooth your face with pumice (daily) must have been very painful.” (Rory W. McCreadie, The Barber Surgeon's Mate of the 16th and 17th Century, p. 30)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

<<“The services of a Barber to shave were more often used in the past than today.>>

Yes, this is what I have even heard about as late as the 1800s as well. A man who might not shave himself, might only go to the barber for a shave once or twice a week.

So ...... I gather that it is not uncalled for to go to an event with a week of beard stubble then. I usually get my scruff on for about a week or so before going to an event.

Coupled with the fact that one might be a sailor and out to sea for some time, it would seem to me that it might even be longer between shaves. It's difficult for me to imagine going to the ship's barber on a regular schedule on a rolling, pitching ship to have a straight razor shave.

Was 'clean-shaven' more the norm for the GAoP time period? It seems like I thought I heard it was.

Are there many accounts of sailors with short beards and such?

-Tar Bucket Bill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All I know is after years of searching I finally found a place in NC that offers straight razor shaves. Turns out in NC it is illegal for a salon with a requirement of a cosmoltolgy licience to offer straight razor shaves due to the possibility of blood dieseses but Barbers are not held under the same rules. The place I go to is off the beaten track so to say and does not advertise but relies on word of mouth. Greg, the head barber is actually one of the proffesors at teh Barber college in Greensboro NC and does an excellent job. If you have never had the "full treatment" so to say with a straight razor shave I highly recommend it. I can't afford to go more than once, maybe twice a month ($45 a visit) but it's definitly worth it when I can go

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I should have you demonstrate shaving at one of these events, so long as you remember that it's not for bloodletting purposes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oddly, I've taken my shaving kit to every event... It's almost period, I just need to get a proper wooden handled brush to make it right...

Although the razor I have is horrible... I need to fine tune the edge several times to get a good shave.

I normally use a modern straight razor for a weekly shave.

I don't think I'll shave another person though...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

<<I can't afford to go more than once, maybe twice a month ($45 a visit) but it's definitly worth it when I can go.>>

We are lucky to have Red's Classic Barbershop here in Indianapolis. They keep the place in a kind of 1940s style.

They do straight razor shaves for $25, but I've never treated myself with one yet. My shipmate grows his whiskers so quickly and thickly, you can hear them grow. Every time he walks into Red's for a haircut, the barbers practically salivate wanting to tackle his tough beard stubble with a straight razor. He hasn't treated himself yet though either. Nice place. I bought some nice bay rum after shave there too.

Here's the website.

http://www.redsclassicbarbershop.com/contactus.html

They just opened another shop recently in Nashville, TN as well.

-Tar Bucket Bill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So ...... I gather that it is not uncalled for to go to an event with a week of beard stubble then. I usually get my scruff on for about a week or so before going to an event.

Coupled with the fact that one might be a sailor and out to sea for some time, it would seem to me that it might even be longer between shaves. It's difficult for me to imagine going to the ship's barber on a regular schedule on a rolling, pitching ship to have a straight razor shave.

Was 'clean-shaven' more the norm for the GAoP time period? It seems like I thought I heard it was.

Are there many accounts of sailors with short beards and such?

I have heard different things, mostly from people without sources to back them up on being clean-shaven as regards sailors.

The only thing I've come across about the regularity of barbering with regard to ships concerned hair-cutting when the ships were in port in England:

"[Woodall's] duties were laid down in The Lawes and Standing Orders of the East India Company printed in 1621.

The first two paragraphs are as follows:

"The said Chirurgion and his Deputy shall have a place of lodging in the Yard where one of them shall give Attendance every working day from morning untill nigh, to cure any person or persons who may be hurt in the Service of the Company, and the like in all their Ships riding at an Achor at Deptford and Blackwell, and at Erith, where hee shall also keepe a Deputy with his Chest furnished, to remaine there continually

__

untill all the said ships be vayled down from thence to Graveyard.

They shall also cut the hayre of the Carpenters, Saylors, Caulkers, Labourers, & any other Workmen in the Companies said Yards or Ships, once every forty dayes, in a seemely manner, performing their works at Breakfast and Dinner times, or in raynie weather, & in an open place where no many may loyter or lye hidden, under pretence to attend his turne of Trimming.
[/i]
"

(Keynes, Geoffrey, John Woodall, Surgeon, his place in medical history," The Journal of the Royal College of Physicians London, October 1967, p. 16-7)

Of course, talks of cutting hair, not beards (although 40 days between haircuts seems to be in line with what we do today). I do wonder what else this document has to say? (I don't have it yet, but it's on my list of Things to Procure from the Databases the next time I'm at the right university library.) Actually, Woodall's Viaticum (which is included in the 1639 and 1655 editions of The surgions journal) seems to have the most info on barbering shipboard, but I haven't finished it yet. If I come across anything when I pick it up again, I'll be sure to post that here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Clean shaven seems to be the norm for men early in the eighteenth century, at least. That said, ashore in the army, "clean shaven" meant in fact shaving every three days [that's when water and time were provided for doing so]. Aboard English naval vessels, "clean shaven" meant shaving once every seven days, again based on that being when water and time were provided for doing so. As such, "clean shaven" appears to mean "beard-less, but scruffy." Still, whilst pirates who were NOT clean shaven were considered somewhat remarkable, such that their facial hair became a talking point of some note in their description [blackbeard being an extreme example], they do prove that SOME individuals did have facial hair, for what that is worth. Just no proof at all for "many" rather than "some."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What's your source for that? I'm looking for info on barbering.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What's your source for that? I'm looking for info on barbering.

Now I have to rummage though my bookshelves to find it. [grins] MAY have been the Seaman's Vade Mecum or Defensive War By Sea. That seemed likely, but having glanced through it is more likely from fleet regulations of the period [my period that is - 1720s to 1790s] instructing the officers of the fleet on water use.

Bearing in mind, of course, that if the source turns out to be the latter [regulations], then, as with the repeated issuance of special regulations threatening the continued presence of women aboard HM Ships, it would likely indicate that the sailors were shaving too frequently and using too much of the water, and thus NOT holding to that regulation.

On a first glance through the Vade Mecum [1744 and 1783 editions] I don't see it, so t will take more searching up. The army regulation I admit to getting at second hand, and so don't have a primary source yet, but will start looking [since shaving in the army is not something I often get asked about].

http://www.modelshipwrightsdatabase.com/pdf/Mountaine1783-TheSeamansVadeMecumandDefensiveWarbySea.pdf

There is a free, online edition of the Vade Mecum -- no immediate help here, but a potentially useful resource none-the-less.

Edit: From Cook's "A Voyage Towards the South Pole and Round the World Volume 2". Admittedly, bathing and washing and shaving are separate, and one does not necessitate another. Still, it relates to water use aboard ship, and Cook considered himself quite forward-thinking by allowing his men more than common water for his period for use of personal washing; enough to wash weekly:

"Let us proceed to another article, one of the most material, the care to

guard against putrefaction, by keeping clean the persons, the cloaths,

bedding, and berths of the sailors. The Captain acquainted me, that

regularly, one morning in the week, he passed his ship's company in

review, and saw that every man had changed his linen, and was in other

points as clean and neat as circumstances would permit. It is well known

how much cleanliness is conducive to health, but it is not so obvious how

much it also tends to good order and other virtues. That diligent officer

was persuaded (nor was perhaps the observation new) that such men as he

could induce to be more cleanly than they were disposed to be of

themselves, became at the same time more sober, more orderly, and more

attentive to their duty. It must be acknowledged that a seaman has but

indifferent means to keep himself clean, had he the greatest inclination

to do it; for I have not heard that commanders of ships have yet availed

themselves of the _still_ for providing fresh water for washing; and it

is well known that sea-water doth not mix with soap, and that linen wet

with brine never thoroughly dries. But for Captain Cook, the frequent

opportunities he had of taking in water among the islands of the

South-Sea, enabled him in that tract to dispense to his ship's company

some fresh water for every use; and when he navigated in the high

latitudes of the Southern Oceans, he still more abundantly provided them

with it, as you will find by the sequel of this discourse."

Edited by Calico Jack

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0