Eleazer, Jehiel, Stephen, Stephen, John, John

The good doctor is known as "The Father of Preventive Dentistry," the man who invented dental floss. As early as 1815, he recommended that teeth be cleaned by passing a piece of silk thread between them.

At the age of 22, he left his father's farm north of Perry, Ohio, after an argument over how to hoe potatoes, saying, "This is the last row of potatoes, I'll ever hoe." Taking his dog and his violin, he made his way to Boston where he found work as a dentist's assistant.

In July 1814, he and brother Jehiel wandered the War of 1812 battlefield of Lundy's Lane [present-day Niagara Falls, Ontario], gathering teeth from the skulls of soldiers to study.

The 1830 census found him in New Orleans, 1840 in Shrewsbury, N.J. By 1860 he was back practicing in New Orleans. The family is buried in Perry's Christ Church Cemetery.

Photo No.: 07-0150

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Updated Dec. 16, 2020