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Pawn Shop: What do those three balls in the symbol mean?

2014-01-26 - Adair Gun & Pawn, 320 Campbellsville Street, Columbia, KY - Photo by Ed Waggener. Most know - though many ask, the meaning of the pawn shop symbol the three balls hanging from an arched bar - that it's the universal symbol of a pawn shop. Still, only a few may know it's history, that it derives from the a legend in the family history of the Medici Family of Florence, Italy. There's more detail within the Wikipedia entry on pawn, at Pawnshop symbol. Many other business and professional symbols including the barber pole, like the one at Wid Harris' Town Barber Shop on the Square in Downtown Columbia and the Caduceus for the medical profession and he mortar and pestle are familiar symbols whose origin and meanings might not be so well understood. There's an article, Hidden meanings of 10 professional symbols which explains the backgrounds for the symbols for Barbers, The Marines, Pawnbrokers, Boy Scouts, Live Theater, Pharmacists, Wall Street, Firefighters, and Freemasons for those who woke up wondering about such this Sunday morning. - CM
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