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The Strange Story of False Teeth by John…
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The Strange Story of False Teeth

by John Woodforde

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Interesting in a rather depressing way! ( )
  Mouldywarp | Feb 29, 2012 |
A curious and unexpectedly good book covering the history of false teeth from the Etruscans to the mid-20th century (the book was published in 1968.) Today, a book with such a title would probably smack of some sort of desperation on the part of author and publisher alike and show a slightly-too-desperate attempt to provide a narrative thread to the historical facts.

This isn't one of those books. It's well researched and does an excellent job of being a social history and a technical history of dentistry. Sources are referenced throughout and there's an index of people, although sadly not a more general index. There's a good number of illustrations, of advertisements for dental procedures, of portraits and cartoons which illustrate good and bad dental practice and of false teeth and dental instruments. It's unfortunate that the photographic reproductions are often poor, but the illustrations as a whole are an excellent support for the text.

Gems include a thorough analysis of George Washington's facial appearance and its connection with unfortunate false teeth, the conflict between British and American dental practice in the early 20th century and a selection of poetry and prose on the subject of false teeth.

One thing which intrigues this (British) reader is the many references to material from the collection of Menzies Campbell. Can this be the same person who led the UK Liberal Democrats a few years ago? Inquiring minds want to know. ( )
  kevinashley | Feb 12, 2012 |
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