Tooth Powder Box with 1749 Halfpenny

Description
The Copp family of Stonington, Connecticut used this small wooden box of vegetable tooth powder during the early 19th century. Vegetable tooth powder was an abrasive used for dental cleaning during the 18th and 19th century. Vegetable powders were mainly composed of powdered cereals mixed with potassium chloride, and sweetened with saccharine or mint. The vegetable powder was useful for its abrasive effects, but the starch from the cereals were detrimental to overall oral health.
The Copp Collection contains a variety of household objects that the Copp family of Connecticut used from around 1700 until the mid-1800s. Part of the Puritan Great Migration from England to Boston, the family eventually made their home in New London County, Connecticut, where their textiles, clothes, utensils, ceramics, books, bibles, and letters provide a vivid picture of daily life. More of the collection from the Division of Home and Community Life can be viewed by searching accession number 28810.
Location
Currently not on view
date box made
1825 - 1850
date coin minted
1749
user
Copp Family
place box made
United Kingdom: Great Britain
place coin minted
United Kingdom: England, London
place used
United States: Connecticut, Stonington
Physical Description
sycamore (box material)
paper (label material)
ink (label material)
copper (coin material)
Measurements
overall: 1 1/4 in x 2 in; 3.175 cm x 5.08 cm
ID Number
DL.006510
catalog number
6510
accession number
28810
Credit Line
Gift of John Brenton Copp
subject
Dental Products
Numismatics
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Domestic Life
Copp Collection
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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