Friday, November 02, 2007
History of the Toothpick
Posted by Grace
Here's one before the weekend: A fascinating brief history of the toothpick
Charles Forster, inspired by the hand-carved picks used by Brazilians, saw huge potential in mass-producing wooden toothpicks in the US. He got Boston inventor Benjamin Franklin Sturtevant to create a machine that was capable of producing millions of toothpicks a day by 1870.
The real genius was in Forster's marketing campaign: One of his ploys was to have Harvard men eat at restaurants and demand a toothpick after their meal. They'd make a fuss when none was available, and when the toothpick salesmen came around a few days later, the restaurant managers bought in.
To read the article, click here.
(The Slate article is a kind of condensed version of The Toothpick: Technology and Culture, which can be bought on Amazon.)
Image taken by C R.
Family Heirlooms | Social History
Friday, November 02, 2007 3:36:44 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)