The Toothpick Holder

In my organizing of the kitchen, I have come across an old toothpick holder.

If I am guessing right, my mom would like me to take her kitchen and make it my own. Her system wouldn’t be my system, but it worked for her, and that was always fine with me. Now, I find myself organizing to my own system. Laura is trying to deal with the constant changes by pretending everything is the same. 🙂 Mostly, I can’t bring myself to throw anything away. Even if something is ugly, and to some degree unhealthy looking, I just can’t. After all, the fudge spoon has to stay! So the latest find was the toothpick holder.

Which led me to wonder, who invented the toothpick anyway? A little research tells me that no one has been given credit for the invention.

No single person is credited with the invention of the toothpick. Charles Forster was the first to mass produce toothpicks for the American market in the mid-19th century. Forster discovered the orange wood splints, first made by Portuguese nuns in the 16th century, while working in Brazil. He returned home and enlisted the help of Benjamin Franklin Sturtevant to devise a method of mass producing toothpicks. Forster later acquired the patent and rights from Sturtevant and moved his fledgling company to Maine, chosen for its supply of white birch.

It occurs to me that in Australia, I don’t even recall seeing toothpick holders, they are already sold in their own container.

Back to mom's toothpick holder. It was old, dusty, and ugly looking and I almost tossed it, but decided to wash it up instead. Then it hit me, that toothpick holder had been around as long as I can remember.

Back to mom’s toothpick holder. It was old, dusty, and ugly looking and I almost tossed it, but decided to wash it up instead. Then it hit me, that toothpick holder had been around as long as I can remember. You can’t just throw something like that away. It’s a memory.

 

Curiosity took me to looking up how old it could be and who made it. It was a long shot I felt to find it. I did this search with a very animated Silas, and through a page full of images, he spotted it, I had almost given up. Sharp eye!

I learned that it was a Antique EAPG Westmoreland specialty Co. 1908 "Simplicity Scroll" gold Toothpick holder

I learned that it was a Antique EAPG Westmoreland specialty Co. 1908 “Simplicity Scroll” gold Toothpick holder, perhaps worth up to $44 dollars, depending on the condition.

 

Well since it’s been in our family’s kitchen all those years, and it was Mom’s, and perhaps her mom’s before that, I think it’s worth a whole lot more than that. I guess it’s a keeper.

In the end, I realized I don’t actually USE toothpicks for my teeth, not even sure the dental community would want you too, but they are perfect when serving Hors d’oeuvres, tapas, or snacks. Then they are perfect, and I have a memory with which to serve them.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *