Silver toothbrush set, Birmingham, England, 1793

1793 in Birmingham
Samuel Pemberton

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Toothbrush set, silver in red leather case with brown leather pouch, comprising toothbrush, tongue scraper and toothpowder box, by Samuel Pemberton, Birmingham, 1793

Used while travelling, this set contains a toothbrush, tongue scraper and toothpowder pot all made from silver. The bristled toothbrush became the most popular way to clean teeth from around 1800 onwards.

Tongue scrapers were used to remove the ‘furry’ deposits on the tongue that could develop after eating and drinking. Toothpowder was rubbed into the teeth and gums to clean them. A number of different recipes were created. Many included cloves, cinnamon, honey and even finely ground cuttle-fish bones. Sets like this were known as ‘morocco cased’ and the items were made by Samuel Pemberton, a silversmith located in Birmingham.


Object Number:
cases, leather and set, silver
toothbrush set
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment

Cite this page


We encourage the use and reuse of our collection data.

Data in the title, made, maker and details fields are released under Creative Commons Zero

Descriptions and all other text content are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence

Using our data


Download catalogue entry as json

View manifest in IIIF viewer

Add to Animal Crossing Art Generator

Download manifest IIIF

Our records are constantly being enhanced and improved, but please note that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information shown on this website.