Information obtained from:
Elizabeth H. Joyner ,Museum Curator
Vicksburg National Military Park
National Military Park has several of the wooden toothbrushes that were
discovered aboard the Civil War ironclad, U.S.S. Cairo. To my
knowledge none of the toothbrushes have retained their bristles. The
manufacturer of the toothbrushes is also unknown. Unfortunately, I know
very little about the toothbrushes. Metal sewing needles and thread
were also found aboard Cairo.
am including a description of a couple of the toothbrushes as-well-as a
description of a metal sewing needle also recovered from Cairo
and in the museum collection for your information.
TOOTHBRUSH VICKC 351
WOODEN. HANDLE EDGES AND TOP ROUNDED. HEAD HAS ANGULAR EDGES. HANDLE NARROWS
TOWARD END. BACK IS CURVED UPWARD (WARPED?) UNEVEN BROWN PAINT, SOME
WORN OFF. HAS SHINY FINISH. NARROW NECK. HEAD HAS 4 ROWS OF TINY HOLES
(22 HOLES PER ROW) TO HOLD BRISTLES. NO BRISTLES EXTANT. HEAD NARROWS AT
TOOTHBRUSH VICKC 1027
TOOTHBRUSH. HANDLE EDGES AND TOP ARE ROUNDED. THE HANDLE IS ARCHED
SOMEWHAT AND FLATTENS TOWARD THE END. THE NECK IS NARROW. THE HEAD
NARROWS TOWARD THE TOP, WHICH IS ROUNDED. HEAD HAS 4 ROWS OF TINY HOLES
TO HOLD BRISTLES. NO BRISTLES EXTANT. MEDIUM DULL BROWN COLOR, FAINT
SHINE. HANDLE HAS SEVERAL SPLITS ON EACH SIDE. BROKEN IN TWO AT THE
NECK. THE BACK OF THE HEAD IS SPLIT, PIECES BROKEN OFF.
SEWING NEEDLE VICKC 481
NEEDLE MADE OF FERROUS METAL. AT THE TOP THE NEEDLE HAS TWO SIDES. THE
MAIN PART HAS THREE FLAT SIDES. THESE SIDES TAPER GRADUALLY TO FORM A
SHARP POINT. RECTANGULAR EYE. IMPRINTED ON ONE SIDE IS R. Schofield.
The first image is of a wooden toothbrush and the second is of the metal sewing needle.