Welcome back and Happy New Year to both of my readers. Mr. Science dropped by to unravel yet another mystery of the physical world. Today we shall examine one of the great scientific questions — Why do we have cotton candy? What is cotton candy? How can one get it out of his or her hair? Let us begin.
January is Treasure Your Teeth month. As we all know, you only have to floss the teeth you want to keep. In keeping with our dental hygiene theme, we learn cotton candy was invented by a dentist. Credit for inventing this culinary delight goes to William Morrison, DDS who in 1897 with the help of his buddy John Wharton, a candy maker, brought forth on this continent a new candy, conceived in sugar, and dedicated to the proposition that Americans will eat anything sweet.
The trigger for the birth of this sticky sensation was the 1908 World’s Fair which was held in Saint Louis. World’s Fairs attract lots of hungry people. The Google Machine reports over 20 million people attended the World’s Fair during its 1908 run. The average fairgoer has 32 teeth, 20 million attendees times 32 teeth calculates to 640 million cavity prone teeth. A dental bonanza.
In keeping with his dental background, Dr. Morrison originally called his candy creation fairy floss. At some point, perhaps to deflect people from making the connection between fairy floss and increased dental income, they changed the name to cotton candy.
Dr. Morrison cyphered he could generate two income streams from cotton candy. The immediate source of revenue would be sales at the World’s Fair. The secondary and more long-lasting income stream would be the cavities generated in unsuspecting prospective dental patients whose ingestion of his sticky sugar sensation coated their teeth forming the perfect medium for Mr. Tooth Decay to flourish.
By now, you are probably asking yourself, “Self, how is cotton candy produced?” Does it fall from the skies like sugary manna? Is it sweetened blown right insulation? Is it millions of sugar-coated black widow spider webs? All of these concepts are plausible. However, Mr. Science explained that the boys invented a machine that heated sugar and spun it around like Mercury orbiting the Sun. Thus, fairy floss, alias cotton candy, was born.
All this talk about cavities takes us back to those thrilling days of yesteryear in the 1950s and 1960s when toothpaste ads roamed free across the fruited plains of American TV. Who can forget Gardol’s invisible shield in Colgate toothpaste? This miracle secret ingredient guards your breath while it guards your teeth. The Gardol ad demonstrated its worth in protecting your teeth from cavities by showing a guy standing behind an invisible shield that stopped a baseball from conking him in the head.
Colgate Dental Cream with “just one brushing would remove 85% of decay and odor causing bacteria, leaving you with a cleaner, fresher mouth all day long.”
Stripe tooth paste featured cheerful red stripes perking up an otherwise boring white toothpaste. According to the jingle, Stripe had “Hexa, Hexa, Hexachlorophene.” The FDA banned Hexachlorophene for oral use in 1972 due to its carcinogenic qualities. Hey, nobody is perfect.
Gleem was advertised for those on the go people “who can’t brush after every meal.” Too lazy or too busy to regularly brush your teeth? Gleem was the toothpaste for you.
Using the right toothpaste guaranteed romance, marriage, children, eternal happiness and a white picket fence. A lady of the female persuasion who used Ipana toothpaste knows “Her breath is kissable-clean.”
Close-Up toothpaste aimed for the ladies with the slogan “Bangles and beads might catch his eye. But a brilliant Close-Up smile and fresh Close-Up breath might even capture his heart.” Colgate played the bad breath card with an ad that said “if it’s kissin’ / You’re missin’ Check up on your breath.” The ad featured a woman looking forlornly at her feller who is frowning in her direction. She has him in a head lock but he ain’t buying what she is selling. Clearly her breath has put the kibosh on romance.
Crest toothpaste added to Milady’s anxieties by its series of “Look Ma, No Cavities” ads featuring happy children holding up report cards from their latest dental checkup. If Mom didn’t buy the right toothpaste, she would clearly be a failure as a mother. She would be shunned by polite society due to her offspring’s cavity filled mouth. The shame. The shame.
Finally, the burning question posed in the first paragraph must be resolved. How to get cotton candy out of one’s hair? Unfortunately, there is only one way to get rid of cotton candy infested hair; use a low yield tactical nuclear weapon to blast the offending confection out of your follicles. Otherwise, you will meet Saint Peter covered in a sticky pink cottony film.