Thomas Alva Edison was a great man. He held more patents than any other person alive or diseased. Much is known about Mr. Edison as an inventor as a business man, that he was profoundly deaf but one thing that is not widely known about him is the condition of his teeth. Of course, being a dentist, I am interested.
A prior blog mentioned George Washington’s teeth, the fact that he DID NOT have wooden teeth. In this blog I will explore what little is known about Thomas Edison’s oral condition.
Why, one might ask, would I ever even think of this. This story begins may years ago when I first visited the Winter Estates of Henry Ford and Thomas Edison in Fort Myers, Florida. That visit left a lasting impression on me. I loved viewing their winter vacation homes, the grounds, the gardens and the museum. I longed to go back and bring my family to enjoy what I had many years ago. I believe my soon to be 18 year old son, Mathew, was two or so and my daughter Kendall may not have been born yet.
I got my wish to return with my family this past weekend, the third weekend of January 2013. Many things had changed. The homes were renovated, the banyan tree trimmed, most of the vintage automobiles removed and the light bulbs that “have been burning seven days a week, ten hours a day, since the 1920’s” were gone. Those famous bulbs that I had spoken so fondly of were gone! I asked our tour guide about this and she told me the truth. It was a lie, those bulbs came from an original case of bulbs that were discovered in the 1950’s and were quietly replaced as necessary. I felt like a child who just found out there was no Santa Claus.
The visit and time spent with my family was still awesome and one thing that either was not on display years ago or I had missed was this picture of a sterling silver denture case with “Thomas Alva Edison” on it. This is all I know about Thomas Edison’s teeth. This story is a bit like Arlo Gunthrie’s “Alice’s Restaurant.”
Paul L. Caputo, DDS3490 E Lake Rd S Suite A