History and Story Behind Inventions: Toothpaste Tube

About the story behind the invention of the toothpaste tube, history and biography of inventor Dr. Washington Wentworth Sheffield.

INVENTION: Toothpaste Tube

INVENTOR: Dr. Washington Wentworth Sheffield, U.S.

YEAR: 1892

HOW INVENTED: Until this time, families bought porcelain jars of dental cream, dug their toothbrushes into the jars, and cleaned their teeth. Dr. Sheffield, a dentist in New London, Conn., considered the practice unhygienic and decided to do something about it. He had seen foreign foods packaged in collapsible metal tubes, and he decided to create a flexible tube container for toothpaste. No sooner said than done. Between 1892 and 1900, sales of Dr. Sheffield's Creme Dentifrice boomed. After that, Dr. Sheffield expanded operations to make tubes for dozens of other products.

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