Category:
Teeth

No makeup or men for five years

When British dentist Philip Grundy died in 1974, he left the bulk of his estate, slightly over $400,000, to Amelia Whaite, the receptionist at his practice. But with some unusual conditions. He forbid her from wearing lipstick or makeup, or going out with any men, for five years.

$400,000 in 1974, adjusted for inflation, would be over $2,000,000 today. So a nice chunk of money.

However, Grunday also made Whaite the sole executor of his estate "with the responsibility to see the will's conditions are kept." So if she didn't follow the conditions was she supposed to self-report herself?

Atlanta Constitution - Mar 17, 1974



I found a forum where residents of Leyland, Lancashire (where Grundy worked) recalled going to his practice. Seems that, in addition to the money, he left behind a lot of traumatized patients. Some typical comments:

There were two doors in the dentists room one in and one out, so no one ever saw the end result of his work I swear I've given birth twice and it didn't hurt as much as that butchers work on my mouth.


My worst horror story was when I had to have 2 teeth pulled and complained about the gas, Grundy did'nt bat an eyelid and promptly yanked them out without anything. I did'nt get a vote, and never complained again, I was 14 at the time.


GRUNDY'S! there was a trail of blood from the door, past the bus stop and round the corner; You couldn't get out of the waiting room once you were in as the door only opened inwards- some brave souls escaped when someone was entering, nearly knocking them over. Waiting room full of smoke and old copies of The Beano in yellowed celluloid covers; view of a sad square of lawn; anyone escaping by the usual way out had to go past, and be accosted by a Forbidding Receptionist.Some sort of liaison here, as Grundy left her all his money, on condition that she never wear lipstick!




Some more info about Grundy and Whaite from a 1974 Associated Press article:

In July 1962, a special dental court found Grundy and Miss Whaite guilty of conspiring to defraud the state-run National Health Service by charging unjustified fees. Both were fined.

Four years later, Grundy was accused of addiction to inhaling anesthetic gas and was forbidden to practice for five years.

He resumed his practice in 1971 and built it into a flourishing enterprise with a staff of 14. . .

Miss Whaite now runs the practice, still with a 14-member staff.

Grundy sounds like he was a real piece of work.

Posted By: Alex - Wed Aug 31, 2022 - Comments (5)
Category: Law, 1970s, Teeth

Wolfe v. Feldman

Peter Ackerberg, writing in the Minneapolis Star (Nov 17, 1979), described the unusual legal case of Wolfe v. Feldman, which was heard in 1936:

Charlotte Wolfe had three rotten teeth, so she went to Max Feldman, a dentist specializing in oral surgery, to have them pulled. When the surgery was over, however, Wolfe complained of pain in a strange place: the pinky finger of her right hand. It turned out to be a possible fracture, and she sued Feldman.

Feldman countered that it wasn't his fault, and he told the judge this story:

Wolfe was strapped to the dentist's chair (apparently a common procedure then), and was given nitrous oxide, an anesthesia better known as laughing gas. What happened next was no laughing matter.

The next part of the story is best summarized in the text of the case itself:

Defendant's story is that plaintiff was strapped to the operating chair; that a short time later, after plaintiff was in the excitement stage of nitrous oxide anaesthesia and as he moved closer to the chair to adjust the suction aspirator, plaintiff, despite the limited movement of the strapped wrist, clutched his testicles with a painful grip, which required the use of great force to release.

So the patient, while under the influence of laughing gas, managed to grab hold of the dentist's testicles, and in the process of freeing himself the dentist fractured her little finger.

Nevertheless, the judge ruled in favor of the patient for $650, saying:

It was incumbent on him, during the time the patient was in the so-called 'fighting stage' reached by patients undergoing anesthesia by nitrous oxide, not to place his body in such a position as to permit plaintiff's hands to interfere with him to such an extent as to require the application of force sufficiently severe to cause her physical injury.

Posted By: Alex - Tue Apr 26, 2022 - Comments ()
Category: Lawsuits, 1930s, Teeth

Keep tooth in mouth

Unusual, but possibly useful, dental advice: If a tooth gets knocked out, put it back in your mouth, between your cheek and gum. This will help to keep the tooth alive. And if you can then get to a dental surgeon within 90 minutes, it might be possible to replant the tooth.

Sunbury Daily Item - Jun 5, 1976

Posted By: Alex - Mon Feb 28, 2022 - Comments (3)
Category: Teeth

Toothache-Killer Cigarettes

Los Angeles Times - Aug 12, 1991



A search of the patent records turned up a 1994 Chinese patent (CN1106283A) for these 'toothache-killer cigarettes':

The toothache cigarette is prepared from paniculate swallowwort root, dahurian angelica root, asarum herb, European verbena verb, turtle shell, honeycomb and tobacco shreds through mixing and grinding the first six, mixing with tobacco shreds, rolling into cigarettes or loading in sealed box or bag. Smoking it can immediately stop toothache with effective rate of 98% as the active components in Chinese-medicinal materials are released when heated.

I wonder what happens if you smoke them when you don't have a toothache. Would your mouth go numb?

Posted By: Alex - Wed Jan 26, 2022 - Comments (3)
Category: Patents, Smoking and Tobacco, Teeth

The Gnathograph

The Gnathograph, or 'dental articulator', was the invention of Los Angeles dental surgeon Beverly McCollum. He was also the founder, in 1926, of the Gnathologic Society.

The name 'Gnathograph' derived from 'gnathology,' this being the study of the jaw and masticatory system, from the greek word 'gnathos' meaning 'jaw'.

"The formidable contraption shown in the mouth of Miss Pearl Nord is a gnathograph, invented by Dr. Beverly B. McCollum of Los Angeles and demonstrated before the chicago Dental Society. It records direction of bite and fit of teeth and accurately guides a dentist in straightening crooked teeth or fitting inlays, crowns, bridges and plates."
image source: Agi Haines



Popular Science - June 1939



The band Femur used the image above from Popular Science as the cover art for their album Red Marks.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Oct 03, 2021 - Comments ()
Category: Inventions, Patents, 1930s, Teeth

Follies of the Madmen #509

Was this ever such a drastic problem, or one of those made-up Madison Avenue problems?

Posted By: Paul - Tue Jun 15, 2021 - Comments (4)
Category: Business, Advertising, Hygiene, 1930s, Teeth

Yu Qian’s Tower of Teeth

We've previously posted about the Tooth Stone of Elkhart, Indiana, which is a large, concrete block full of human teeth.

Along similar lines is the Tooth Tower of Yu Qian in Beijing. It's a large sculpture made out of 28,000 human teeth.

If I come across any more sculptures made out of human teeth, I'll be sure to add them to this list.

Elko Daily Free Press - July 28, 1995





Posted By: Alex - Thu Apr 22, 2021 - Comments (2)
Category: Art, Teeth

Follies of the Madmen #496



Tarzan chews Dentyne.

Posted By: Paul - Sun Jan 03, 2021 - Comments (1)
Category: Business, Advertising, Foreign Customs, 1940s, Teeth

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Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction, science-themed books such as Elephants on Acid and Psychedelic Apes.

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