Forhan's Toothpaste

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Currently not on view
Zonite Products Corporation. Forhan Division
place made
United States: New Jersey, New Brunswick
overall: 4 3/4 in x 1 1/4 in x 1 1/8 in; 12.065 cm x 3.175 cm x 2.8575 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Robert J. Locurto
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Health & Medicine
Beauty and Health
Beauty and Hygiene Products: Oral Care
Data Source
National Museum of American History


R.J. Forhan is my Great-Grandfather. Family lore says that Grandpa Forhan "invented toothpaste" in its modern form and sold the Forhan's company in one of the most lucrative sales of a private company in the 1920's. I am not sure how much of that is true. While he did not invent dentifrices, supposedly he was the first to produce and market it as a paste sold in a tube as we know it today; prior to him they were all powders. You can find the old Forhan's For The Gums ads clipped from magazines sold on ebay, and more family lore says the young girl in some of the ads is my grandmother Rea Forhan. According to the New York Times article below, Forhan originated the "4 out of 5" slogan in dental advertising. There is an old article somewhere called "Dentistry Comes To Cripple Creek" that I may be able to locate that describes his life and dental practice in Cripple Creek Colorado. If I am able to find it I will post it. He and his family later moved to New York City where Rea would meet my Grandfather William Pedrick. The Richard Forhan apartment on Riverside Drive has some other historical interest connected with it as chronicled in this NYT article:
I remember that as a boy, in the 1940s, I listened to a radio program sponsored by Forhan's toothpaste. I remember the brand of the toothpaste, but not the name of the program. Do you know what show or shows were sponsored by Forhan's?

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