Thursday, February 11, 2010

George Washington's Teeth

According to Wikipedia;
[Washington] had several sets of false teeth made, four of them by a dentist named John Greenwood. Contrary to popular belief, none of the sets were made from wood. The set made when he became President was carved from hippopotamus and elephant ivory, held together with gold springs. The hippo ivory was used for the plate, into which real human teeth and bits of horses' and donkeys' teeth were inserted. Dental problems left Washington in constant pain, for which he took laudanum. This distress may be apparent in many of the portraits painted while he was still in office, including the one still used on the $1 bill.

2 comments:

Irma said...

And here I thought our one dollar bill was only interesting because of the spider on it! Thanks for making me smile... even if poor George couldn't.

chris.dadness said...

Ooh, I haven't found the spider. Where is that?

After having blogged this "fact" I really started doubting the "hippo ivory" aspect. But I guess there was a well established (slave) trade route between Africa and America at that time so there is no reason why not. I'm back on board the "GW had hippo teeth" bus.

Thanks for stopping by, love to Chonk, Bea and Eric!