Masticator, Paris, France, 1870-1890

Made:
1870-1890 in Paris
Food masticator. Full view, masticator open. Graduated matt black perspex background.

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Food masticator. Full view, masticator open. Graduated matt black perspex background.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

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

Masticator, used to chew food for elderly or toothless patients before swallowing, made by A Aubry, Paris 1870-1890

A food masticator uses a scissor-like movement to mash food. It was probably used to ‘pre-chew’ food for elderly toothless patients and others unable to chew. When not in use, the teeth are held together by a sprung clip which secures the ends of the ivory-covered handles.

The masticator was made in France and is stamped with the maker’s name and address: “A Aubry, Bd. St. Michel Paris”. Aubry was a major surgical instrument maker who won gold medals at the Expositions Universelles in Paris in 1878 and 1889.