A History of the World in a Dozen Objects: Number 6 - The Toothbrush

by Jarvo J May. 22, 2011 3559 views

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Q: What's pink, about 6 inches long, has a hole at one end and hairs at the other?

A: A Toothbrush.

As schoolboy jokes go, it's not nearly as good as what's pink and wrinkled and hangs out your granddad's pyjamas? but there you are.

Anyway, toothbrushes. Just imagine how disgusting life would be without them. Then again how come (with the exception of a few pampered pets) we are the only animals to have them. How come other animals can keep themselves clean naturally and we can't? Or perhaps they don't - its not for no reason that halitosis is sometimes called dog breath.

The idea of the toothbrush is not a new one. The first evidence of them comes from 6000 years ago. The first ones were nothing more than chewed sticks and it's probably a fair bet that the design didn't change much for a long time.

In recent years though the improvements have been dramatic. Flexible handles, tongue cleaners, multi length filaments, and different strengthed filaments are all comparatively new.

So too have been developments in toothpastes. A 100 years ago, most people would have used baking powder or maybe even just water. Today there is fluoride, anti bacterial, tooth whitening and all sorts of enhancements. These are so much better than what was available in the past. I for one wouldn't have wanted to use what the ancient Romans did: powdered mouse brains!

The disturbing thing about this shot is that you can see al sorts of dirt on it. And this is a toothbrush that's straight out of the packet.

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There are 11 comments , add yours!
Gregg Maretka 10 years, 2 months ago

Great post....love the grampa joke...lol !!
Yes as Marie said the sonic toothbrush...never used one but my son had one and it sounded like a star wars light saber fight in the bathroon every morning...

10 years, 2 months ago Edited
Eiram Marie 10 years, 2 months ago

oh you forgot my favorite one: sonic toothbrush! the best invention ever:)

10 years, 2 months ago Edited
Mikkal Noptek 10 years, 2 months ago

Beautiful pattern

10 years, 2 months ago Edited
Helen Hooker 10 years, 2 months ago

Great macro shot. It never fails to amaze me how many small details extreme close ups reveal, no matter how desirable or not!

10 years, 2 months ago Edited
Gillian 10 years, 2 months ago

I guess that none of us feel quite civilised in the morning until we've brushed our teeth.

10 years, 2 months ago Edited
Jet28 10 years, 2 months ago

Cool shot - couldn't live without one :-)

10 years, 2 months ago Edited
Sadhya Rippon 10 years, 2 months ago

Very interesting, but what I REALLY want to know is the answer to the pink and wrinkled question. School[u]girl[/u] jokes didn't include this one.

10 years, 2 months ago Edited
Marsha 10 years, 2 months ago

Had to go catch up on 1 - 5 in the series....all great shots and interesting information! This one is straight out of the package? Maybe there are some things macro shows us that we just don't want to know!

10 years, 2 months ago Edited
Snowpie 10 years, 2 months ago

iuäh!! but cool pic.

10 years, 2 months ago Edited
Yulia 10 years, 2 months ago

Oh,nice idea!

10 years, 2 months ago Edited
Lynda 10 years, 2 months ago

OOh powdered mouse brains. That's got to taste nasty. Great shot

10 years, 2 months ago Edited
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