Don't Leave Home Without It!

Discovery News features a "tiny gold combined toothpick and earwax spoon, believed
to be more than 385 years old, [found] during the search for a shipwrecked
Spanish galleon off the Florida Keys."
Don't laugh. If you were going halfway across the known world to a place with no gold earwax spoons that would also function as toothpicks, you'd find a place for this in your baggage too.

A silver "ear picker" -- thanks Michelle! --is featured at the Historic Jamestown site, according to which:

Ear pickers, though not all of silver, were used by all levels of society in medieval and post-medieval England. As was the fashion for many of these tools, this one is double-ended. The pointed end was used to clean teeth and nails, and the spoon-shaped end was used to remove earwax. The 17th-century English knew about plaque, which they called "scale" or "surf," and they were encouraged by their doctors to scrape their teeth frequently. They also knew that a buildup of earwax could cause deafness. As gross as that may seem to us today, the earwax was often saved and used for coating sewing thread to make it stronger and easier to use.

Snuff goes way back though. Here's a bit on the history of snuff from Wikipedia:

By the 1600s some started to object to snuff being taken. Pope Urban VIII threatened to excommunicate snufftakers, and in Russia in 1643, Tsar Michael set the punishment of removal of the nose for snuff use. However, there were still some fans; King Louis XIII of France was a devout snufftaker, and by 1638, snuff use had been reported to be spreading in China.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Login to comment.
Click here to access all of this post's 8 comments

Email This Post to a Friend
"Don't Leave Home Without It!"

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.


Success! Your email has been sent!

close window

This website uses cookies.

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using this website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

I agree
Learn More