Who invented the toothpaste tube

123 years ago, on May 22, 1892, Washington Sheffield invented the toothpaste tube. Until the end of the 19th century, the main use was tooth powder, which was packed in paper bags.

19 years before Sheffield was invented, a New York pharmacist named Colgate began selling liquid toothpaste in glass jars. However, they were no more convenient than paper packaging, and were not in great demand.

Sheffield, who worked as a dentist in New London, decided that it would be more convenient to pack in a tube, from which it would be possible to squeeze out the paste as needed. The 40-year-old dentist even left his profession for a while and started developing a new container for toothpaste.

He took as a basis tin tubes, which were used by artists to store paints. After some improvement, tubes were born, very similar to those that are widely used in our time.

Alas, the talented innovator Washington Sheffield was weak in legal matters. He did not think to patent his invention, which was immediately taken advantage of by the same pharmacist Colgate. He patented the innovation in his own name and, since 1896, began mass production of toothpaste in tubes.

Tube liquid paste quickly gained popularity in America and Europe. Over time, the tin from which the packaging was made was replaced with aluminum, and later with cheaper plastic.

Interestingly, in the Soviet Union, pasta in tubes appeared rather late, in the 50s of the 20th century. Before that, tooth powder was used. At the same time, the powder retained its popularity in our country for a long time. This was probably due to the force of habit and the fact that it was not always possible to buy toothpaste in Soviet stores.

But years passed, and tooth powder in Russia became a thing of the past. The packaging, invented at the end of the 19th century by the American dentist Washington Sheffield, has become much more popular. By the way, in one year a person uses, on average, 8-10 tubes of toothpaste.

In many countries, there are even collectors of toothpaste tubes. People who are keen on such a rare type of gathering are called tubotelists. They even manage to squeeze out the toothpaste so that the tube remains intact. And miraculously preserved specimens of the late 19th - early 20th centuries are the dream of any pipe maker and are estimated at a considerable amount.