Most people remember Paul Revere for his famed midnight ride, which took place 239 years ago this week. But there’s a lot more to the story of this American Patriot.
Did you know that Paul Revere was also a highly skilled dentist and became the first forensic dentist in American history?
Paul Revere learned the silversmith trade from his father and quickly developed a reputation for being a highly skilled artisan around the Boston area. However, in the early 1760′s, an English “dental surgeon” named John Baker arrived in the colonies and taught the eager Revere how to create and insert false teeth (usually made of ivory). Interestingly, it was actually John Baker who made George Washington’s false teeth not Paul Revere as some have speculated.
On June 17, 1775, while in the throughs of the Revolutionary War, a Massachusetts Major General, named Joseph Warren was killed at the famous battle of Bunker Hill. It was actually Major General Warren who had sent Paul Revere on his famous “midnight ride” to Lexington earlier that same year.
At the time of the battle, Warren’s body was buried in a mass grave by the British. Once the territory was again occupied by the American troops, Warren’s family sought to find his body and give him a proper burial. Unfortunately, by this time, the corpses had so badly decayed they became nearly impossible to tell apart — until Revere spotted one that was wearing a dental prosthetic he’d built to replace two of Warren’s teeth a few years earlier.
According to the National Museum of Health and Medicine, “Revere’s confirmation of General Warren’s identity was the first instance in this country of an identification of a military service member using dental remains.”
By this time you may be wondering why is there a picture of a Samuel Adams Beer label if this is an article about Paul Revere. Because, the portrait proudly displayed on the label is not of Samuel Adams as you may expect but actually of Paul Revere. There are many theories and speculations as to why the brewers choose to use the likeness of Revere instead of Adams, maybe we will never know for certain.
Paul Revere — American Patriot, Forensic Dentist, Beer Spokesmodel