Brush and Floss 2x a day!

Long before I knew that working in the museum field was even a possibility, I wanted to be a dentist. In high school I spent a summer working at the UConn School of Dental Medicine, and when I went off to college I was all set to go pre-med, but that’s another story… So it was a dream come true when I got to research the history of dentistry for the exhibition This Won’t Hurt a Bit! A History of Pain Relief.

Tooth keys

Imagine how many teeth these instruments pulled – and without being sterilized! CHS collection

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Shop the CHS Store: It Won’t Hurt a Bit (Either)!

tradecards013The current exhibit, This Won’t Hurt a Bit: A History of Pain Relief provided some unusual inspiration for new store products. The CHS ephemera collection was a great source for trade cards, once used to advertise remedies to soothe or eliminate pain in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. An assortment of images for plasters, witch hazel, toothache drops, and ginger tonic proved perfectly suited for custom magnets, notepads, and puzzles.

They say laughter is the best medicine, so tickle the funny bone of your favorite nurse, doctor, or dentist, with one (or more!) of our medically themed pewter lapel pins, signed by the artist, Jim Clift. Laugh them into stitches with our Ouch! silk neck and bow ties by Allyn Neckwear, in a navy blue background with colorful bandages covering the entirety of the tie.

navy-blue-silk-ouch!-tie-235905-205-363-0For the History Nut who prefers authentic home accents, the pharmacy bottles in our store actually lined the shelves of apothecaries in the 19th century. Once filled with tinctures, remedies, or concoctions each is unique in shape and size.  Give them new purpose in the bath filled with soaps, salts, and cotton or in other areas of your home.

Stop suffering through ho-hum shopping experiences! Find relief at the CHS store! Since all proceeds go to support our programs, exhibits, and collections your purchases will be practically pain free!

tooth-drops-trade-cardKathy Whitney is the Customer Service and Store Manager at the Connecticut Historical Society.

Bone Saws and Centipedes

Our newest exhibit is now open! Considering the number of tools on display that were designed to sever, extract, or drill into one’s various body parts, “This Won’t Hurt a Bit! A History of Pain Relief” will make you either run screaming for the hills or bow down before the great and benevolent Horace Wells, the official “Discoverer of Anesthesia.” Or you might do both, in that order, if only there was a monument for Dr. Wells on a hill and available for prostration. Wait a second…


Horace Wells’ monument at Cedar Hill Cemetery in Hartford.

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