An American Smile

A bit of history: Born in 1732 into a Virginia planter family, he learned the morals, manners, and body of knowledge requisite for an 18th century Virginia  gentleman. In May 1775, Washington was elected commander in chief of the continental army and on July 3, 1775 he took command of his poorly trained troops and embarked on a war that would last six grueling years. Finally, in 1781, with the help of the French allies, he forced the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown. Washington became a prime mover in the stages leading up to the Philadelphia Constitutional Convention in 1787. When the new constitution was ratified, the Electoral College unanimously elected Washington as president. He thus became the first President of the United States of America (1789-1797). Washington enjoyed less than three years of retirement in Mount Vernon, as he died of a throat infection on December 14, 1799.

There have been various myths about Washington’s personal life, but one thing for sure was his problems with tooth loss and the consequent use of dentures… not properly practical.In his first inaugural address in 1789, de delivered his speech as the first American president. At the time he only had only one natural tooth left.We have all heard the urban myth that the first president wore wooden dentures. He in fact over time he wore multiple sets of dentures made from different material like gold, lead, ivory and human teeth some of his dentures n now be seen at Mount Vernon the first  presidents home (

Looking at the dentures one can only imagine the pain and discomfort they must have caused to the wearer. This might explain Washington’s austere expression in his best-known portraits and busts, just like the one you can find on my page.


Not long ago a friend suggested me the book Panama Fever. In this compelling tale, we discover not only the incredible engineering success and the enormous human sacrifice it cost, but also all those backstories that, in part, give rise to today’s american geopolitics.

‘A detailed study of the myriad personalities and design plans associated with the work … [Parker’s] limpid prose is best suited to accounts of the dangers the laborers faced.’ The New Yorker, 21 April 2008 

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