Hackers commemorate 70th anniversary of barber pole hack

9681 barbershop
To commemorate the 70th anniversary of the famous “barber pole” hack, 70 barber poles were constructed throughout campus as part of a scavenger hunt Monday.
Kevin Ly–The Tech

A hack entitled Barber 70 Scavenger Hunt took place Nov. 8 to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the original barber hack.

Hackers constructed and placed 70 barber poles in various locations across campus, including Lobby 7 and even replacing the chimneys on top of Building 68. 

Additionally, the hackers posted flyers around campus, inviting community members to find and photograph the barber poles and to post them to social media with the hashtag #MITbarber70.

A map with the locations of all the barber poles can be found at

The original hack, which took place Nov. 8 in 1951, occurred after hackers purchased a barber pole and were seen walking around the streets of Boston with it by police. After repeatedly receiving calls from the police about the pole, the barber requested that they stop calling and a notice was sent to ignore college students carrying barber poles. 

The next day, the hackers covered Killian Court with barber poles. The flyer posted by the present-day hackers writes that while the “story is dear to the hacking community,” theft goes against today’s set of hacking ethics. Thus, the present-day hack involved barber poles constructed out of paper.