Curios Revealed: December 10, 2013 Reveal

Each Thursday we reveal the answer to Tuesday’s mystery object.

On Tuesday we posted the following object.

December 10

Want to know if you guessed correctly?  Don’t know what the object is?  Read on to find out the answer!

First off, we’d like to give a special shout out the Chris who commented on Tuesday’s post with a spot-on identification of the object!  Great job!


An 1868 ad for the famous Jewsbury & Brown toothpaste.

As Chris pointed out, the object is part of a lid for Jewsbury & Brown Oriental toothpaste.    The company was initially formed by  Henry Jewsbury, age 41, and his partner in 1845, but Henry had already been in the chemist business and created a previous company 19 years prior!  The partnership of Jewsbury and Brown was very successful; in addition to their famous toothpaste formula, the company also sold a variety of drug store goods such as perfumes and shaving paraphernalia, and was a producer of carbonated fizzy drinks (no wonder their toothpaste formula did so well!)  You can check out some of their ads here.


A drawing of a Jewsbury and Brown chemist from circa 1880. This image was taken from an online repository managed by the Manchester City Council. For more images, check out the hyperlink in the text.

The success of the company made it an institution in Manchester, and its main building at 113 Market Street has been the object of several drawings and photographs.   The company continued operations for over a hundred years, until 1964 when it merged with the Schweppes company!

Henry Jewsbury and his family were part of a large influx of migrants to Manchester in the early 1800s, all hoping to make their fortunes in the newly industrial city.  Henry and his family were some of the few hardworking laborers who were able to make this dream a reality.  In addition to Henry’s chemist success, his sister Maria Jane was a friend of the poet William Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy, and Henry’s other sister Geraldine would go on to write and publish her own novels.  You can read more about her life here.

Although a broken toothpaste lid may seem like no more than a casual curiosity, its location on the shores of the Hudson River in the late 1800s illustrates just how far Henry Jewsbury and his family had come since they first left the small town of Measham in Leicestershire!


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