Link #163: Electric Toothbrush Was First Marketed In 1939

Various electric toothbrush heads for Braun Oral-B electric toothbrush
Image credit: William Warby/CC BY 2.0


Chain of Facts - A Connection of Facts

Link #163: Electric Toothbrush Was First Marketed In 1939

Various electric toothbrush heads for Braun Oral-B electric toothbrush
Image credit: William Warby/CC BY 2.0

In our last post, we described how the stories of George Washington having wooden dentures were complete and utter myth. Instead, we explained how scientists have used laser scans to prove that Washington’s dentures were actually made up of animal teeth, lead, and gold.

The myth was a result of Washington’s dentures becoming stained despite the fact that he brushed his teeth regularly. In fact, Washington used multiple tools like toothbrushes. What he couldn’t use was the electric toothbrush because it was only invented in 1954.

However, did you know that electric toothbrushes were actually marketed in 1939? How is this possible? Read on to find out!

Previous Link in the Chain of Facts
Next Link in the Chain of Facts

How Electric Toothbrushes Were First Advertised In 1939?

Electric toothbrushes were first marketed by Dr George A Scott in 1939 in the United States. However, it wasn’t the first product that Dr Scott was marketing as electric. As early as 1880s, Dr Scott was marketing electric products. The first product he marketed was an electric hair brush.

The brushes that Dr Scott marketed weren’t really electric but instead magnetic. In fact, his brushes used magnetic iron rods, which is how they moved. Still, Dr Scott chose to market his products as electric. He not only used electric to market his products but also many other false claims.

For instance, in his advertisements, Dr Scott would claim that his products have the potential to cure a wide array of common ailments such as paralysis, blood diseases, rheumatism, malaria, and even constipation.

Dr Scott’s products and marketing were aimed at the single objective of making money. An example of this was the fact that his advertisements stated that his electric brushes shouldn’t be shared because that would cause them to lose their made up curative powers.

When Was The Real Electric Toothbrush Invented?

The 1939 magnetic toothbrush that was marketed as electric toothbrush in 1939 never sold much because it never worked as marketed. This changed when the real electric toothbrush was invented in 1954 by Philippe G Woog. Woog invented the electric toothbrush for E R Squibb and Sons.

This electric toothbrush used the electric motor for movement. It was dubbed as the Broxodent brush by the year of 1959. By the next year i.e. 1960, the Broxodent brush was commercially sold to the public.

The Broxodent brush worked as described, unlike the Dr Scott electric toothbrush. However, like the Dr Scott electric toothbrush, the Broxodent brush failed to capture the imagination of the masses.

The primary reason for this was the fact that in order to use the Broxodent brush, people had to plug it into a power outlet. This made people nervous because they didn’t want something electric in their mouths.

This problem remained till the next year when General Electric launched a cordless electric toothbrush. This electric toothbrush used a rechargeable battery which meant that the brush didn’t need to be plugged in while being used.

In recent years, scientists have analysed electric toothbrushes and found to be more effective than conventional methods of brushing. However, this is only true in the case of electric toothbrushes that move in circular motion.

Can you Guess the Next Link in the Chain?

What will be the next link in our Chain of Facts? Think you might know? Scroll down to add a comment below with your best guess.

Previous Link in the Chain of Facts
Next Link in the Chain of Facts

You can view the full list of links in the chain here.


Click here to view the complete list of sources…


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here