Different Strokes for Different Folks: A History of the Toothbrush
The Clean-Be-Tween toothbrush
The Clean-Be-Tween toothbrush, patented in Los Angeles in 1938, was invented to provide an improved holder for toothbrushes having adjustable and replaceable brush heads. It was devoid of recesses prone to filling with “dentifrice and foreign matter” that render the brush unsanitary. In addition, projections of potential harm to the oral cavity and gums were absent.
“Bakelite” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 5 Feb. 2016. Web. 17 Mar. 2016; Jones, FA Tooth Brush. Patent 2133704. 18 October 1938. Print.
These two Clean-Be-Tween brushes (A148.2, A148.3a) have natural bristle heads and salmon-colored Bakelite handles. A metal cylinder inserted in the handle controls tightening and loosening of the metal loop for attaching the brush head in any desired angular position.
University of the Pacific Permanent Collection, Donor: Donald Yent, DDS
Invented in 1907, Bakelite, used to make this handle, is a molded phenolic product recognized as the world’s first synthetic plastic.
Replacement toothbrush heads (A148.3b).
Clean-Be-Tween Toothbrush patent drawing
Patent granted in 1938 to F.A. Jones of Los Angeles.