While brushing your teeth, have you ever looked down at the collapsible tube and wondered about its history? Many people are surprised to learn that it has been around a lot longer than they think. Dr. Washington Sheffield, a dentist practicing in New London, CT, is widely credited with introducing this household standard after an idea from his son.
While in Paris, France, his son saw artists using collapsible metal tubes for their paints and inks. In 1892 when his son returned home from his visit, he shared the idea with his father—a new mechanism for packaging his father's own brand of toothpaste, Créme Dentifrice. Until this time, Créme Dentifrice had been sold in porcelain jars with family members dipping their own toothbrushes into one household jar before brushing! The newly packaged product became a big success and was much more hygienic. In 1896, Colgate began packaging toothpaste in a tube. And for the last 100+ years, patients world wide have benefited from a tremendous selection of collapsible tube toothpaste products sold everyday...all thanks to Dr. Washington Sheffield.