Updated 15 Oct 2006

WIRKSWORTH Parish Records 1600-1900

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Photo 479


Sold c 1895

Thomas Asbury, Matlock Bath

Thomas Asbury (born 1867) arrived in Matlock Bath from Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire just before 1891 and set up business as a chemist and druggist. He was joined by his mother Sarah, a widow, and his sister Martha. By 1901 he had married Alice Hawley, and had two children. His business was in Derwent terrace and North Parade, in the centre of Matlock Bath. In 1891 he had a shop assistant boarding, and a general servant. In 1901 his sister in law was assisting in the shop, and a domestic servant was still available.These details can be found in the 1901 and 1891 Census.

One of the items Thomas sold was a tin of tooth paste, in the form of a powder, tasting of areca nut and cherry, and claimed to preserve the teeth and gums. Tooth powder in a tin was common before tooth paste in a tube was on the market. Wikipedia states " In the early 1800s, the toothbrush was usually used only with water, but tooth powders soon gained popularity. Most were home made, with chalk, pulverized brick, and salt being common ingredients. An 1866 Home Encyclopedia recommended pulverized charcoal, and cautioned that many patented tooth powders then commercially marketed did more harm than good".

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