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Pelican tooth extractor, made of steel. These were an early type of dental forceps, so named due to their claw which was thought to resemble a pelican's beak. Tooth extraction is the earliest known dental procedure, it was used as a last-resort cure for toothache. Pelican extractors originated in the fourteenth century and by the 1500s they had become the most popular tool for tooth-drawing amongst barber surgeons and practitioners. No two alike, each pelican extractor would have been individually designed to order. This example is English and dates from around 1750.
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