Who Wouldda Thought?

Discovery News features a “tiny gold combined toothpick and earwax spoon, believed to be more than 385 years old, found during the search for a shipwrecked Spanish galleon off the Florida Keys.” Don’t laugh. If you were going halfway across the known world to a place with no gold earwax spoons that would also function as toothpicks, you’d find a place for this in your baggage too.

A silver “ear picker” is featured at the Historic Jamestown site, according to which:

Ear pickers, though not all of silver, were used by all levels of society in medieval and post-medieval England. As was the fashion for many of these tools, this one is double-ended. The pointed end was used to clean teeth and nails, and the spoon-shaped end was used to remove earwax. The 17th-century English knew about plaque, which they called “scale” or “surf,” and they were encouraged by their doctors to scrape their teeth frequently. They also knew that a buildup of earwax could cause deafness. As gross as that may seem to us today, the earwax was often saved and used for coating sewing thread to make it stronger and easier to use.


via Neatorama