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Toothbrushes by Site


18AN39 Saunders Point
Mid-18th-century cellar


This 18th-century double-ended toothbrush has 19 drilled holes on one end and 5 on the opposite end.

Examining the size of the bristle holes at either end suggests that the bristles faced in opposite directions. Bristles are still evident in some of the holes and fine copper wire used to attach bristles seen crossing back of brush and in a loop inside one of the holes, holding bristles in place. Green staining from the copper wire is apparent on both the front and back sides of the rounded stock. It is possible that this brush was used for cleaning fingernails, rather than as a toothbrush.


18AP52 Gott’s Court
African American neighborhood, late 19th century

Stamped,  J.   Newton Gilbert O Annapolis MD indeterminate letters in circle. J. Gilbert Newton operated a pharmacy in Annapolis beginning in 1901 (Drug Trade Weekly, Volume 3) and continuing at least through 1929, when he is listed in the November 26, 1929 edition of The Capital newspaper as being a druggist in Annapolis.

Stamped,  J.   Newton Gilbert O Annapolis MD indeterminate
letters in circle. J. Gilbert Newton operated a pharmacy in
Annapolis beginning in 1901 (Drug Trade Weekly, Volume 3)
and continuing at least through 1929, when he is listed in the
November 26, 1929 edition of The Capital newspaper as
being a druggist in Annapolis.

This toothbrush was discovered in a backhoe test trench,
so exact context not available.


18BA100 Howard McHenry Mill




Lot 395. Stamped “Geo. E. Seal
Baltimore; O/68/M”.  Baltimore business
directories show Seal was in business as
a druggist in Baltimore between
1883 and 1906.

Lot 395.  This toothbrush was found in
the same context as the “George Seal,
Baltimore” toothbrush.  Baltimore
business directories show Seal was in
business as a druggist in Baltimore
between 1883 and 1906.

Baltimore business directories show
Thomas & Thompson as a Baltimore
drugstore in business by 1874 until at
least World War II.  The proprietors
were John Benjamin Thomas and
Albert Thompson. Lot 401.002


18BA332 Dolfield Tenant House
Early to mid-20th century African-American tenant house


Lot 8.  Recovered from early 20th-century yard midden.


18BA370 Todd’s Inheritance
Standing early 19th-century house


    
    Top and side views of handle, showing curvature. Recovered from a shovel test
through a mid- to late 19th-century midden along the west side of the house.


18BC27 Federal Reserve


Feature 17 – Brick-lined privy
(c. 1840-1870)

----------- Feature 28 – Brick-lined privy (mid-19th century) -----------

Oval handle with squared end. Lot 85

Oval flattening to a semicircular handle with squared end. Lot 28A577



Oval handle with square end. Lot 291

------------------------------------------- Feature 30  Privy (c. 1850-1870) -------------------------------------

Virginia Type. Lot 360

Oval handle with square end. Lot 336

 

Lot 324

---------------------------------- Feature 36 – Well re-used as privy (1880s-1890s) ---------------------------------
Oval handle with rounded end. Lot 36 Lot 278 - Close-up of stock end shows trepanned tunnels
that ran the length of the stock.  These holes were plugged
with wax or cement; in this case the plugs appear to have
fallen out. Guideline channels for drilling the bristle
holes are also visible along the rows.

18BC51 Levering Coffee House



18BC132 Mechanicís Court


 

LC872 - Note drilled holes at varying distances from one
another and the two slightly overlapping holes at the handle
end of the stock, suggesting the holes were made with a bow
drill prior to c. 1869-1874 (Mattick 2010:10,59).

Hexagonal handle with rounded end. Lot 220
Detail of broken side of stock showing drilled
bristle holes as they intersect with trepanned tunnel.


18BC139 Bull's Head Tavern

Feature 9 Privy (first half 19th century)

      
Flat oval handle. Detail of back of stock, showing graved
channels used for the wire drawn bristle attachment. Lot 339

Rectangular handle with flared and squared-off end. Lot 338


18CH805 Fendall

Surface Find

Oval handle with pointed end. Associated with 19th-century Charleston House.  Private collection.


18MO609 Jackson Homestead

(1870-1915)

Guidelines used to help position bristle holes are visible on the stock of this brush running along the rows.

Oval handle with beveled square end - Lot 344.
Guidelines used to help position bristle holes are
visible on the stock of this brush running along the rows.


Oval handle with rounded end - Lot 300.


18PR175 Addison Plantation



18PR692 Salubria

Feature 26 – 20th-century pipe trench

Oval handle with rounded end - Lot 10282.

Wire drawn bristles.

18QU124 Queenstown Courthouse

 


Gravelly Hills

Standing structure built c. 1820 in Chaptico, Maryland

3 of the 4 trepanning holes are still plugged
with pinkish wax - Lot 42,

 

Circular handle with stick end. This toothbrush is privately
owned; it was discovered during gardening on the property.

Public Hospital

1885 context


Thomas Jefferson Toothbrush

Brush-Everard House 19th-century yard fill

This toothbrush was discovered in the cellar of
a building at a mental hospital that was destroyed
by fire in 1885.

 

Courtesy of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
Catalog # 00058-29FB


Ferry Farm 44ST174

Antebellum plowzone context

Photos by Laura Galke and courtesy of The George Washington Foundation.  

 


Teardrop shaped handle and rounded stock.  Wire drawn
with three rows of bristles in uneven rows, suggesting the
holes were drilled with a bow drill.  This brush may have
been used for fingernails, rather than for cleaning teeth.

Guidelines for drilling present on top example with tapered
head and 5 rows of holes-Trepanned bristle attachment;
(Middle) Elliptical head with 5 rows of holes-Trepanned,
  probably guidelines visible; (Bottom) Elliptical head with
4 rows of holes, trepanned bristle attachment.


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Updated:†03/22/17