J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Tuesday, September 07, 2010

George Washington’s Teeth, Even Closer

Back in 2007, Boston 1775 ran an item titled “George Washington’s Teeth, Close Up.” It featured an image from the American Dental Association website of the first President’s false teeth, made by North End native John Greenwood. That A.D.A. webpage got edited away into the aether, as sometimes happens, and the image disappeared off the ’net.

But this year (actually next, judging by the copyright date) Lerner Classroom is publishing John Greenwood’s Journey to Bunker Hill, by Marty Rhodes Figley. The back of that book kindly recommends Boston 1775’s material on Greenwood. And then it says this site includes “a picture of the false teeth John made for George Washington!”

I can’t let the schoolchildren of America down. So with Google’s help I restored a smaller image of those teeth to the original posting. And now, thanks to Barista, I have the pleasure of sharing this larger picture of the same dentures. So now, children of America, you can sit down happily to your school lunches.

Still hungry? Here’s another set of Washington’s teeth on display at Mount Vernon.


Tess said...

Oh, dear, poor Mr. President! Is it any wonder that he couldn't chew meat?
But, ugh! Those dentures are quite reminiscent of Chiclet gum.

Andrea Matlak, Archivist, ADA said...

The image from the ADA's website was courtesy of the National Musuem of Dentistry, an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, located in Baltimore, MD, on the campus of the University of Maryland School of Dentistry (http://www.dentalmuseum.org/)
This is where you can find the actual denture on display. We are working to restore the history information to the ADA website which was temporarily removed while it goes through a redesign.

J. L. Bell said...

Thanks for the link to the Dental Museum!

Normally I’m not surprised or bothered when links go out of date; the internet is a roiling sea of data, after all. But in this case a printed book was promising a look at Gen. Washington’s dentures through this site, and I didn’t want to disappoint!

Marty Rhodes Figley said...

Thanks, Mr. Bell.