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Steven Russell
06-12-2011, 04:37 AM
Aaron Kosminski is described as a hairdresser. In what way was this different from a barber? We know the barber was the poor man's surgeon, but what of the hairdresser? Were they the same or different?

Best wishes,
Steve.

GregBaron
06-15-2011, 12:54 AM
This is a good question Stephen and I don't know the answer but my guess is they are the same. The idea of a barber doing any kind of surgery of course seems preposterous today but times were tough....What is more intriguing to me is where and when Koz may or may not have practiced his trade of hairdressing? Did he work a year or two in Whitechapel? I believe there' s no evidence one way or another that he ever practiced this trade. It would be a great coup if anybody found any but I think Rob House has already travelled this lonely road. Anyway, I wonder what kind of knives these hairdressers used and if they could have been used in the crimes..........?


Greg

JtRMordke
07-01-2011, 11:09 PM
I find this extremely interesting too. His occupation was written down as a 'hairdresser' so it is likely that he did perform this type of work somewhere, even if all evidence for this is lost or non-existent. Although we must take the word of the documents and assume that they are correct as one would expect them to be.

I should probably assume that he took on the roll of a barber, this alone offering a small explanation as to how he could have acquired a limited knowledge of medical skill that many people say would have helped the Ripper, if we assume that Kozminski is JtR for the sake of argument. In the case of the knifes, if the barber was responsible for undertaking minor surgeries then I would presume that one of the knives in the job would be some sort of surgical knife, similar to a post mortem knife which was indicated as being the sort of knife akin to that used by Jack the Ripper, in which case Kozminski would have had access to the right knife and the right knowledge.

Steven Russell
07-02-2011, 08:27 PM
In the case of the knifes, if the barber was responsible for undertaking minor surgeries then I would presume that one of the knives in the job would be some sort of surgical knife, similar to a post mortem knife which was indicated as being the sort of knife akin to that used by Jack the Ripper, in which case Kozminski would have had access to the right knife and the right knowledge.

That's what I have been wondering about. A cut-throat razor (called a straight-razor in the US I believe), despite the name, would have been no good for the Ripper's purposes. Nor would scissors of course.

Best wishes,
Steve.

JtRMordke
07-03-2011, 07:42 PM
That 'cut-throat razor' business is quite hilarious going on the fact that this man is a top Ripper suspect. :lol:

What people tend to forget is that as times change, so do the requirements of the job. so a barber's kit 100 years ago would have been quite different from a barber's set of tools now. So going on the requirements for the job in JtR's time, they probably had a wider range of equipment that overlapped with those belonging to a surgeon. So I wouldn't be surprised if Kozminski's set of tools contained a surgical knife designed for cutting flesh next to the pair of scissors.

Trevor Marriott
07-03-2011, 08:17 PM
That 'cut-throat razor' business is quite hilarious going on the fact that this man is a top Ripper suspect. :lol:

What people tend to forget is that as times change, so do the requirements of the job. so a barber's kit 100 years ago would have been quite different from a barber's set of tools now. So going on the requirements for the job in JtR's time, they probably had a wider range of equipment that overlapped with those belonging to a surgeon. So I wouldn't be surprised if Kozminski's set of tools contained a surgical knife designed for cutting flesh next to the pair of scissors.

I supposed in his shop he did a special offer for women. hair cut and free uterus or kidney removal while you wait. I wonder if he gave club card points as well :rolleyes2:

JtRMordke
07-03-2011, 08:47 PM
That's given me a hearty laugh - dark humour is always the best I find! x'D

Back to the job discussion - in the Polish records I seem to remember reading somewhere that he was listed down as a tailor. But this could have been from when he was just 10 years old, just after his father died, and since he would have been responsible with his brother Woolf for providing income and support for the whole family it seems probably that he helped out wherever he was needed going on the fact that his family had a whole history of tailors. I wonder what made him decide to become a barber instead? Quite a radical career change.

Trevor Marriott
07-04-2011, 12:25 AM
That's given me a hearty laugh - dark humour is always the best I find! x'D

Back to the job discussion - in the Polish records I seem to remember reading somewhere that he was listed down as a tailor. But this could have been from when he was just 10 years old, just after his father died, and since he would have been responsible with his brother Woolf for providing income and support for the whole family it seems probably that he helped out wherever he was needed going on the fact that his family had a whole history of tailors. I wonder what made him decide to become a barber instead? Quite a radical career change.

I guess the job "Suited him" :laugh4:

JtRMordke
07-04-2011, 04:22 AM
Oh dear... You set me off again! :lol: I shall ask him when I drop some flowers off at his grave in a couple of weeks - something I've been waiting eagerly to do for a long time! :pleased:

This interesting point written in some of the police files/ reports about being employed in a hospital in Poland could also be another indication that this is a barber we're talking about, if this text is referring to Kozminski for certain. Although no records currently exist of this, and therefore we cannot back up the source, we'll just have to assume that the police knew what they were talking about as they clearly knew more about Aaron than we do now.

Steven Russell
07-04-2011, 05:39 PM
I didn't intend this to be a Kosminski thread specifically [Perhaps I put it in the wrong place]. I was wondering what type of knives might have been used by a Victorian barber-surgeon apart from those needed to cut hair.

So what kind of procedures, apart from hair-cutting, might a Victorian barber have performed? I have read somewhere that the lancing of boils might be one. What else, I wonder, and what instruments would be needed?

Best wishes,
Steve.

JtRMordke
07-04-2011, 07:26 PM
Ahh... I have found a little information for you Steve! This was written by Andy Aliffe and posted on casebook a while ago: http://www.casebook.org/dissertations/rip-cutthroat.html?printer=true

Although it is hard to do independant research for this on google without being up a load of Sweeney Todd stuff. x'D So I have yet to come across the exact knives used in the practice.

The joint title of Barber-Surgeon went back several centuries. They practised in Royal Households and military establishments and often acted as medical orderlies under battle conditions. Apart from cutting hair and shaving, their more familiar civilian role was to perform minor surgery such as blood letting, treating wounds and lancing abscesses and some were also trained in the operation of removing gangrenous arms or legs. By definition they had "some rough anatomical knowledge"

Athough not naming Kosminski, George R Sims adds a little more information, gleaned from Macnaghten, that Kosminski had once been employed in a hospital in Poland. During the 19th Century, and especially in Eastern European countries, the barber-surgeon or 'feldscher', a junior or assistant surgeon, were the poor man's doctor. .

Steven Russell
07-05-2011, 12:27 AM
Thanks, JtR. That's exactly the kind of info. I was after. Barbers seem to be all over the place in this case! Odd that so many could sustain a living in a depressed area.

Best wishes,
Steve.

JtRMordke
07-05-2011, 02:10 AM
You're welcome!
I never realised that there were so many barbers wrapped up in the case either, let alone living in Whitechapel. I think it must have been quite hard for them, although the East End was a rather packed area so there would have been plenty of customers. Same there was an abundance of tailors as well I do believe.

JtRMordke
07-10-2011, 04:59 PM
Due to various sources, there is strong indication that Aaron Kozminski worked in Butcher's Row, although no direct evidence has been found. A view of trade directories for 1888-1891 revealed at least one hairdresser's shop, namely 'Kallin & Radin,' so perhaps this is the very shop that Kozminski was employed in? We do not know when he was ever employed in England, but since statements reveal that 'he hasn't worked in years,' we can be pretty sure that he was employed either only in Poland or in his early years living in Whitechapel. Cram two and two together and it is possible that Kozminski did have some employment as a hairdresser before he developed schozophrenia, leaving him in an unfit state of mind to work.

The Good Michael
07-10-2011, 05:28 PM
He may have been a 'flying' barber, or he may have worked out of his brother's home doing the hair of family and friends. He may have only been trained in haircutting and wig-making/preparation, and may never have held a job for all we know.

Mike

Stephen Thomas
07-10-2011, 06:00 PM
Due to various sources, there is strong indication that Aaron Kozminski worked in Butcher's Row

What are these 'various sources'?

JtRMordke
07-11-2011, 12:00 AM
Stephen, the sources that I am talking about are highlighted in chapter 20 of Rob Houseís excellent new book on Kozminski. These come from Inspector Robert Sagarís memoirs and there are hints from Coxís account as well of Kozminskiís workplace. None of them directly mention Kozminski, but it is clear that he is more likely than not to be the suspect they are both referring to based on what we know about Kozminski already and how well it would fit with other suspects. Sorry for not being clear on that.

Chris
07-11-2011, 12:29 AM
Stephen, the sources that I am talking about are highlighted in chapter 20 of Rob House’s excellent new book on Kozminski. These come from Inspector Robert Sagar’s memoirs and there are hints from Cox’s account as well of Kozminski’s workplace. None of them directly mention Kozminski, but it is clear that he is more likely than not to be the suspect they are both referring to based on what we know about Kozminski already and how well it would fit with other suspects. Sorry for not being clear on that.

The snag with this is that one of the newspaper articles about Sagar that have recently come to light does say specifically that his suspect was a butcher (Seattle Daily Times, 4 February 1905).

Regarding the Kallin and Radin hairdressers' shop, that was certainly on Aldgate High Street, but it was on the north side. Strictly Butchers' Row described part of the south side only.

Wickerman
07-11-2011, 12:45 AM
Due to various sources, there is strong indication that Aaron Kozminski worked in Butcher's Row, although no direct evidence has been found.

If you recall the words of Det. Harry Cox, "..we had many people under observation while the murders were being perpetrated...", there's no clear indication that Det. Robert Sagar was observing Kosminski, thats the problem with the Butchers Row reference, it could have been anybody.


...we can be pretty sure that he was employed either only in Poland or in his early years living in Whitechapel.

I think Aaron emigrated to the UK in 1881, he was only 16 at the time, so if he was employed in Poland it may only have been as a minor, an assistant.
There is the reference to him being a Tailor (tailor's assistant?) in Poland.

Regards, Jon S.

JtRMordke
07-16-2011, 03:58 AM
Thanks for clearing that up for me. I don't have access to the direct sources so I can only go on what others have researched. It is always so easy to speculate on things and quite often books will only tell you parts of the story/ information.

About that tailor reference; it would most likely have been when Aaron was just 10 years old or after his father died when he was forced into supporting his family since it would have been only him and Woolf (the only boys present in the house) who were able to work. Also it was not uncommon for young Jewish boys to be working at a young age.