Friday, November 18, 2011

you can only hold a smile for so long


At first glance, this seems to be a skull with two terrifying rows of teeth.  Actually, it's a child's skull with the adult teeth, ready to move down. Talk about a face-full of teeth! I find it fascinating, since I'm all about stones and bones. My daughter had an adult tooth that did not move down to force out the childhood tooth.  Surgery, odd rubber bands, and braces pulled it from deep in her face down into the appropriate spot.  It's amazing what modern orthodontics can do.

Image by Stefan Sch√§fer, taken at the Hunterian Museum in London.


You can only hold a smile for so long, 
after that it's just teeth.

Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters

Speaking of holding a smile for so long, did you know the reason people are not smiling in vintage photographs is because the shutter speed was much slower then?  It was easier to hold a non-smiling face completely still.

my great-great-great-grandfather
Joseph Lorenzo Dow Hanna
self-portrait, tintype, circa 1860s

43 comments:

  1. That skull reminds me of the Preditor (from the movies) - eek!

    You might be interested in this post I read today about the very first person to be photographed: http://thechubbychatterbox.blogspot.com/2011/11/someone-had-to-be-first.html

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  2. Thanks, Bug...I'm always interested in the history of photography...heading over to check out your link...

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  3. The more layers we reveal, the more obvious the miracle.

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  4. We were chatting over on Facebook how far up into the face the adult teeth are, so close to the eyes. I don't remember my face feeling uncomfortable when all those teeth things were going on. A child's skull must be rather pliable.

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  5. Eagh! One imagines spectral lips, smiling or perhaps giving a raspberry salute.

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  6. Amazing! The upper adults look like they're ready to poke through the eye sockets. And most times all happens just as it's supposed to. Amazing- with a little help from modern orthodontics! Great to have the photo of your distant ancestor. Someday future bloggers will post ancestor photos of us. Yikes!

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  7. Well there goes the Slugs and Snails and Puppy dogs tails theory!
    Cheers!

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  8. Thanks for the info on non-smiilng pics - someone asked a question on my blog about that.

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  9. oh my, that was a mouthful

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  10. That really is a mouthful! :-)

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  11. The bottom teeth look just like baby feet

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  12. Astonishing! Look at those canines! Going through tooth antics with my youngest two at the moment: this hasn't reassured me.

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  13. WOW i must have that child's skull! Awesome, I mean t'is a shame that the child died before the tooth fairy could give her prizes but what a treasure she has left behind!

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  14. Sad to think of the child whose skull this once was, unless it's a fake. My husband still has one of his milk teeth, taking its place among the old ones.

    The teeth in this skull look almost too white to be real.

    Fascinating.

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  15. Yes, the child's teeth are so white and new...sad a life cut so short...

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  16. very interesting post, glad I got to read it tonight :)

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  17. Teeth are the most inefficient part of the human body. Very poor design. I suggest state-funded total extraction at the age of 16 (a simple overnight pill), then replacement with tungsten tipped nylon gnashers that would last for the rest of your life!!!

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  18. Well, thanks a lot Tess. I'm going to have nightmares about that tonight. And, I just went to the dentist today.

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  19. The picture of the skull is mesmerising. I am totally fascinated by it. Like you, I am a bones and stones person, and this image is going to stay with me for a long time to come. Thank you for posting it.

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  20. Cro, nylon grippers is a fabulous idea...I had an icky quadruple root canal in January that's just now settling down...oy...

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  21. Dave, oh, me, too...someone posted it to Facebook and I just couldn't stop staring at it...

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  22. Aside from the teeth, I find the size of the eye sockets fascinating. The poor wee bugger. Wonder what happened to her/him.

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  23. Woah- that is why they pulled so many teeth out of my head! I too had some very misplaced fangs- had to be dragged across my jaw...after surgery.

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  24. i am lucky to have all my teeth in its proper place because i cannot afford, money wise, the braces... and lucky to have a mother who taught me how to brush properly twice or thrice a day... interesting post...

    JJRod'z

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  25. I love stuff like this. And I love old photographs, can you imagine how much of a to-do it must have been to get your photograph taken way back when?

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  26. This is quite grissly but interesting nevertheless!

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  27. All those teeth right up under the nose! The human body is quite the amazing design....yet wouldn't another set that comes in at about age 60 be a nice addition to the design?? I could use a new set right about now:)

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  28. wow! Intellectually, I know we are born with all our teeth but this really drives it home. Makes you wonder how a little bitty kid's mouth has room for all that.

    My son also had an adult tooth that did not want to move down and the orthodontist was planning to slit his gum, attach a brace and pull it down. fortunately, just the threat of doing that caused the tooth to start moving into place.

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  29. Just found your blog via Feral. A stones and bones girl who digs words too? Love, love, love, love....

    Next I click to follow! And then I shall covet your hair.

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  30. Thanks for stopping by The Chubby Chatterbox. I think your blog is great. I'm glad I found it and I'm adding it to my regulars.

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  31. the creatures who own these skulls must be a terrifying bunch!

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  32. Hi & Greetings! I chanced upon your blog. And I am so happy to read your post. Very Interesting pics. Amazing that you have so carefully preserved the photo graph of your great ancestor.

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  33. Wow ... you are right, fascinating!

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  34. What a set of chompers ... yes, fascinating and sad at the same time.

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  35. OK you have officially given me the WILLIES. That skull is really frightening. Bloody hell.

    Bones and stones ... do you get along with crystals too? Quarts and other clear stones?

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  36. Love the skull -- isn't nature amazing?

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  37. The eyes are mesmerizing. I have the same problem as your daughter had, still unfixed.

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  38. Once upon a time you posted about "collecting" stuff -- I did not leave a comment then, but I have a collection of skulls -- small animal skulls, not human ones... and a collection of odd-shaped rocks... and bones.... and

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Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
― O. Henry (and me)