Back in 1887, a Rock Co. farmer named August Kramer had trouble with his teeth. He finally went to a Janesville dentist named A.P. Burrows, who recommended replacing them all. Mr. Kramer soon possessed a full set of false teeth, both uppers and lowers, instead of his worn out originals.
For nearly two decades, Mr. Kramer was pleased with his investment and the dentures worked perfectly well. They probably would have served him for anther 20 years if he had not abruptly passed away in 1907.
His grief-stricken widow accompanied his body to the undertaker, where she made a peculiar request. She asked if her husband's false teeth could be removed from his body just before it was entombed in his coffin. She explained that "she would soon be obliged to purchase a set" herself and saw no reason for letting a perfectly good pair go to waste. Her request was granted.
Two years later she called upon the dentist that had made the dentures for her husband all those years ago, and Dr. Burrows successfully retrofitted them for her own mouth.
As she walked out of his office with her second-hand teeth in place, she told him that she hoped the dentures would "make her look thirty years younger" because she was hoping to "soon again enter the matrimonial class."
09 March 2011
Recycling false teeth
A story from the Wisconsin Historical Society, via the Wisconsin State Journal: