Health in England (16th–18th c.)
Transplanting Teeth (c.1790) [Engraving]
This print is by Thomas Rowlandson (1756-1827) and is dated 1787. It is a satirical comment upon the real practice of rich gentlemen and ladies of the 18th century paying for teeth to be pulled from poor children and transplanted in their gums. The dentist present is portrayed as a quack. There are even two quacking ducks on the placard advertising his fake credentials. He is busy pulling teeth from the mouth of a poor young chimney sweep. Covered in soot and exhausted, he slumps in a chair. Meanwhile the dentist's assistant transplants a tooth into a fashionably dressed young lady's mouth. Two children can be seen leaving the room clutching their faces and obviously in pain from having their teeth extracted. As people lost most of their teeth by age 21 due to gum disease, teeth transplants were popular for some time in England although they rarely worked.
Thomas Rowlandson, "Transplanting Teeth," The Wellcome Library, http://images.wellcome.ac.uk/indexplus/result.html?_IXFIRST_=9&_IXSS_=_IXFIRST_%3d1%26_IXACTION_%3dquery%26_IXMAXHITS_%3d15%26%2524%2bwith%2bwi_sfgu%2bis%2bY%3d%252e%26with%2bimage_sort%3d%252e%26_IXSESSION_%3dcrHmB4NhlbN%26create_creator_name_name%253atext%3d%2522Thomas%2bRowlandson%2522%26%2524%2bnot%2b%2522Contemporary%2bclinical%2bimages%2522%2bindex%2bwi_collection%3d%252e%26_IXFPFX_%3dtemplates%252ft&_IXACTION_=query&_IXMAXHITS_=1&_IXSR_=npSLTgDywbK&_IXSPFX_=templates%2ft&_IXFPFX_=templates%2ft (accessed October 13, 2008). Annotated by Lynda Payne.
How to Cite This Source
Lynda Payne, "Health in England (16th–18th c.)," in Children and Youth in History, Item #166, http://chnm.gmu.edu/cyh/teaching-modules/166 (accessed September 30, 2014).
- Primary Sources
- Boke of Chyldren by Thomas Phaer [Excerpt]
- "On Scarlet Fever" [Excerpt]
- Lady Mary Wortley Montagu on Small Pox in Turkey [Letter]
- Gin Lane (1751) [Engraving]
- London's Bill of Mortality (December 1664-December 1665) [Official Document]
- John Evelyn's Diary, 1658 [Literary Excerpt]
- Rubeola Vulgaris (measles) [Still Image]
- Infanticide Trial Transcript from the Old Bailey of Elizabeth Taylor of Clerkenwell, London, June 1734 [Trial Record]
- The Graham Children (1742) [Painting]
- Transplanting Teeth (c.1790) [Engraving]
- An Inquiry into the Causes and Effects of the Variolae Vaccinae [Literary Excerpt and Illustration]