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June 26: The day when toothbrush came into existence

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Have you ever thought how the toothbrush, which gives you the reason to smile came into existence? The toothbrush, which is an essential part of our mornings, was invented on June 26, 1498, in China. The first toothbrush was made of hog bristles. But much before this, there is mention of its existence since 3000 BC. Early civilisations used a thin twig with a frayed end, which was rubbed against the teeth. It was called a ‘chew stick’.

Hog bristles brushes were made of bone or bamboo and had the coarse and stiff hair taken from the back of a hog’s neck, at one end. They were considered the best till nylon was invented.

Dupont de Nemours introduced nylon bristles in 1938. The first nylon toothbrush was called Doctor West’s Miracle Toothbrush.

Toothbrush trivia:
-The first mass production of toothbrush was done by William Addis of Clerkenwald of England in 1780.
-H. N. Wadsworth was the first American to patent in 1857.
-Mass production of toothbrush began in 1885 in the US.
-The first electric toothbrush came in 1960 in the American market, under the name Broxodent. It was marketed by the Squibb company.

Other important events which took place the world over on June 26 are:

1721: Dr Zabdiel Boylston gave the first smallpox inoculation, which had become an epidemic and was transmitted to Boston via a ship from Barbados.

1909: The Victoria and Albert Museum opened on this day.

1940: The USSR terminated the use of the experimental calendar and went back to using the Gregorian calendar.

1945: Delegates from 50 nations signed the United Nations Charter in San Francisco. The aim of this charter was to establish a world body, which would help in keeping a check on another World War.

1960: Somalia, which was under British dominance, got its independence on this day.

1960: Earlier known as the Malagasy Republic, Madagascar became independent of French domination.

1976: The world’s tallest free-standing structure, the CN Tower in Toronto, was open for public.

1977: Elvis Presley gave the last performance of his career in Indianapolis.

2007: Spanning over twenty-two and a half miles across Hangzhou Bay in the East China Sea, China completes the construction of the world’s longest sea bridge.

2015: The American Supreme legalises same-sex marriage across all the US states.


Text by Tasneem Dhinojwala

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