Wednesday, June 02, 2010

"T" is for Toothpick - Alphabe Thursday, 6-3-10


"T" Is For Toothpick



I imagine you, like me, have taken toothpicks for granted.  These tiny little sticks, made of wood, plastic, bone, metal, and bamboo ( for the most part ) are a multimillion dollar industry ( try
something in the neighborhood of $24 billion! ). 

Man has been using an implement to remove food from his teeth since the time of the Neanderthals.  All cultures have used this tool which is the oldest method of dental cleaning.
While modern toothpicks are not made of silver, bronze or encrusted with jewels as in the past, they still serve the same purpose - though dentists now prefer brushing and flossing to the use of toothpicks.

In 1869, four years after the end of the Civil War, Charles Forster, with the help of an inventor, developed a machine to mass produce the toothpick. Birch was the wood chosen and millions of toothpicks were produced annually.  Today, only one Minnesota factory in the U. S. still makes toothpicks.  Most others come from Brazil or Asia.  

Besides being used to clean teeth, toothpicks have long been used to secure canapes or party 
tidbits.  

One man, however, has taken the lowly toothpick to artistic proportion.  Stan Munro has created an entire city of the world's most famous landmarks using toothpicks.  He began this hobby as a boy and gave his art away.  Today, there are a number of such artists who create magic out of the lowly toothpick that we so often take for granted! 




References: 
http://american.com/archive/2007/november-december-magazine-contents/the-glorious-toothpick

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toothpick


Join me and others at Jenny Matlock's Alphabe Thursday

35 comments:

  1. What a delicate and fascinating work, thanks for the video!

    I have your book and Joanne's! They sent it way earlier than they said, that was cool. I'll take my time to read it and write something about it. As an employee in a publishing house, I have something to say about the pixelated image on the cover... But I'm sure you're already aware about that, so I'll let it pass :). What matters is in the inside, and I'll surely relish it.

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  2. That is truly amazing!

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  3. wow, those toothpick sculptures are incredible :D

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  4. Toothpicks are useful and come in handy for building intricate models with glue etc...:) and for pumpkin carving . "I'm lame , I know"

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  5. Absolutely amazing. What patience.
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

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  6. amazing!!! thanks for elevating my opinion of the lowly toothpick!

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  7. fullet - thanks for buying my book...I hope you like the contents and will write a review when you're done - on the Amazon page...an honest one!

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  8. 5thsister - can you imagine the patience it must take to do those projects. I can't even stick with a puzzle!

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  9. laterg8r - I cannot imagine doing something like that. My popsicle stick artwork in brownies was never very good!



    At 65, I've done it! My poetry book - Life's Journey by Carmen Henesy - is out on Amazon!
    ( Poems about the things that have been important to me in my journey through life, some humorous, some sad, some that may have meaning to you as well )
    http://www.amazon.com/Lifes-Journey-1-Carmen-Henesy/dp/1451547366/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1274652997&sr=1-1

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  10. Jackie - do you actually do creative things with
    toothpicks? If so, I commend you! I'm sure I would have a huge glue mess and nothing productive to show!



    At 65, I've done it! My poetry book - Life's Journey by Carmen Henesy - is out on Amazon!
    ( Poems about the things that have been important to me in my journey through life, some humorous, some sad, some that may have meaning to you as well )
    http://www.amazon.com/Lifes-Journey-1-Carmen-Henesy/dp/1451547366/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1274652997&sr=1-1

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  11. Maggie May - there are several other YouTube videos of his other projects so he didn't stop at just that one. He's spent his whole life at this. I guess he must be getting paid for his
    "hobby" - they really are works of art.

    Hope you have a wonderful weekend!!


    At 65, I've done it! My poetry book - Life's Journey by Carmen Henesy - is out on Amazon!
    ( Poems about the things that have been important to me in my journey through life, some humorous, some sad, some that may have meaning to you as well )
    http://www.amazon.com/Lifes-Journey-1-Carmen-Henesy/dp/1451547366/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1274652997&sr=1-1

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  12. Wow, that would take some patience to build a city out of toothpicks. I use toothpicks sometimes when I'm cleaning when a space it too small. It can get right in there. We're finding that it's not always so easy anymore to get toothpicks. Also, I don't think they are as good as they used to be.

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  13. Great stuff! I once saw a goofy old cartoon where they made toothpicks by shaving down entire logs. In between log-form and toothpick they would be made into all sorts of different things before being shaved down to their final destination.

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  14. Thanks for telling me and showing me somethings about toothpicks.

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  15. toothpick is cute,
    lovely t post!

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  16. What a fun post Carmen!

    You definitely taught me something about the toothpick.

    Now I can amazing my husband and my sons and son-in-laws...since they always use them after meals...something that I'm not too fond of!

    I always enjoy my stops here.

    You have such a unique perspective on each letter we do!

    Terrific link!

    A+

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  17. those are amazing...
    congrats on your book!

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  18. You know there are all kinds of artists. Things that go unnoticed to many are being meticulously constructed by others.

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  19. What amazing work! And to think I only use them when meat gets stuck between two teeth! I must learn to be more imaginative!

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  20. That's wonderful to see. So many talented people out there..Great post, Carmen!

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  21. What a fun T-post!
    Congrats for your book on Amazon. I'll try to get it and read it. Inspired by all of the poems that you and Rinkly Rimes have posted on these memes, I have posted a poem on my T-post. It is not mine, but I translated it from Swedish. Take a peek when you get the time. Here is a permalink:
    Anna's Ts
    Best wishes,
    Anna

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  22. that is beautiful. when i was in 4th grade we had to do a mission project and i thought i would make mine out of toothpicks. well, thousands of toothpicks later, i was back at the hobby shop, picking out a different medium! they are not easy to build with---that is for sure.

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  23. I grew up being told only Chinese use tooth picks because our western train dentists and dental nurses told us not to use tooth picks.

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  24. Wow, that's astounding.

    (poor Karen Carpenter - such a lovely voice and such a sad way to die.)

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  25. Viki - I could never build a city like that!! From what I've read, some of the toothpics from Asia, had debris in the packaging!


    At 65, I've done it! My poetry book - Life's Journey by Carmen Henesy - is out on Amazon!
    ( Poems about the things that have been important to me in my journey through life, some humorous, some sad, some that may have meaning to you as well )
    http://www.amazon.com/Lifes-Journey-1-Carmen-Henesy/dp/1451547366/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1274652997&sr=1-1

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  26. Ratty - I cannot even fathom how many toothpicks are made from one birch log!

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  27. JDaniel4's Mom - I wonder if his mom supported his toothpick habit when he was younger!

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  28. Jingle - I, initially, was going to do a post on Taiwan...but all those pictures were destroyed when my computer crashed a few years ago.

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  29. Jenny - toothpick was a rather spontaneous choice. I certainly hadn't planned on it. After I saw the video on Stan Munro, however, I was sold on the idea.

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  30. Brian Miller - quite a talent, making a toothpick city of all those architectural wonders!

    It is exciting to finally have published that book of poems. I just hope I sell some.

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  31. Self Sagacity - I had never heard of this toothpick artist. It's nice to learn about the creativity of others!

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  32. Icy BC - a mere toothpick...and such incredible works of art! It is truly phenomenal.

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  33. Christy - well, you know first hand what an accomplishment this Stan Munro has done with his world monuments!


    At 65, I've done it! My poetry book - Life's Journey by Carmen Henesy - is out on Amazon!
    ( Poems about the things that have been important to me in my journey through life, some humorous, some sad, some that may have meaning to you as well )
    http://www.amazon.com/Lifes-Journey-1-Carmen-Henesy/dp/1451547366/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1274652997&sr=1-1

    ReplyDelete
  34. Ann - I think I'll have to email this post to my wonderful dentist...he'll get a kick out of this!


    At 65, I've done it! My poetry book - Life's Journey by Carmen Henesy - is out on Amazon!
    ( Poems about the things that have been important to me in my journey through life, some humorous, some sad, some that may have meaning to you as well )
    http://www.amazon.com/Lifes-Journey-1-Carmen-Henesy/dp/1451547366/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1274652997&sr=1-1

    ReplyDelete
  35. secret agent woman - I'd have my fingers glued together and create nothing!

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