The Exolever (4 slides)
The earliest form of “key”, circa 1740, was made entirely of metal, unlike the wood-handled pelicans.
Explore this item in the slideshow below. Click each image to see the full version.
Exolever IllustrationIn this 1762 version, a functional fulcrum is absent.Courtesy of Martino Publishing, Eastford, CT — Colyer, 2006
Exolever ReplicaSimilar to the 1762 key, this Exolever replica (A466.8) has a handle, compressed at one end and rounded at the other, that can be detached from the shaft and serve as an elevator. The name “Exolever” describes its compound nature.
University of the Pacific Permanent Collection, Donor: Mrs. George A. Sellick
Simple ClawCharacteristic of those earliest keys, the claw tip shows a deep V-shaped notch and the inner surface is smooth. Later claw modifications would conform more closely to tooth root shape and include a series of transverse grooves for a firmer grip on the tooth.
Projecting BolsterA projecting "bolster" was added to the shaft opposite the claw to provide a fulcrum for greater stability and strength during extraction.