Monday, 16 May 2005

Teeth via Post

In 18th century London you could order your false teeth via post. All you had to do was get a pice of soft wood, bite into it (thus leaving your teeth marks on it) and send this, together with a ribbon which measured your gums, to the person who made the teeth. After a short wait you would receive your new teeth, which cost around £3 and 4 shillings.

False teeth in those days were not as reliable as the ones you can get nowadays. The dentures were made of wood. If you were lucky enough to only need the bottom set of teeth then you could look forward to a firly firm set of teeth, with which you could eat with as well. On the other hand, if you required the top part, you could look forward to your teeth sliding out at the most inconvenient and embarassing moments. If you needed the whole lot, both top and bottom, there was a solution to this problem by way of a spring attached to the back, holding top and bottom set together and allowing you to open your mouth. However, once you did manage to open your mouth you would have founds it rather difficult to close it as the springs were rather tight. Imagine how awkward this would look in public, the person squeezing their muscles, in order to get their mouth closed...(what a tragedy if a fly was in the area...!).

The actual teeth could be made of a variety of materials. According to your means, they could be made of bone, animal teeth, elephant tusk, agate, or they could even be human teeth...


ResoluteReader said...

Nah. Nothing to do with teeth this question. But to do with Egyptian Hieroglypics.

Can someone explain to me how we know how particular pictograms were pronounced. I have been reading several books about Egyptian writing, and they all say the same thing - that use of hieroglyphics died out around 400AD, and their translation wasn't successful until very recently. However most books also give examples of particular pictograms and their associated pronunciation. Even occasionly you get an alphabet (of 24 characters) corresponding to the current western one. How do we know what how each letter was pronounced?

Alterior said...

Jean-Francois Champollion was the guy who deciphered hieroglyphics. He did this by discovering a link between hieroglyphic texts and Coptic ones. Coptic is also and Egyptian language, spoken by the Egyptian Christians. Tha pronounciation is extraordinarily similar.

From the below website:
"His figuring out how to do this was not a sudden revelation as is often mistakenly written but the result of a long process of self-education which had begun in the days of his childhood fascination with arcane languages. Champollion s first step towards his goal of rendering ancient Egyptian readable came in 1808, when he determined that fifteen signs of the demotic script corresponded with alphabetic letters in the Coptic language, and concluded that this modern tongue was the surviving last-stage of the ancient Egyptian one. By 1818 he had succeeded in figuring out that, while some signs were strictly symbolic ideograms, many glyphs also had phonetic value, and thus the ancient Egyptian script was, at least partially, alphabetic."

Hope this helps. :-)))

gettinggrip said...

hahaha...i like this blog!

Alterior said...

So glad you like it! :-)))) lol