Old-Time “Cure” for Toothache

16-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Tuesday, April 18, 1911:  I believe I have forgotten what I really did today. It was so much and yet so little. Toothache still continues.

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

I want to yell at Grandma’s parents and tell them to get their daughter to a dentist. NOW! For the past week or so, Grandma has complained about her tooth (see April 11 and 15). Maybe people didn’t go to dentists as quickly a hundred years ago—

According to The Compendium of Everyday Wants (1908):

TOOTHACHE—The most complete and speedy cure for toothache is to pour a few drops of compound tincture of benzoin on cotton and press it into the cavity of the tooth.

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