Here in the museum’s Division of Medicine and Science, we’re undertaking an inventory of the museum’s dental collection, and we discovered one half of an interesting denture. The upper palate appears to be made of silver and it has eight porcelain or mineral tube teeth. Each tooth has a “central canal” which is secured to the palate with pins. Two teeth are missing.
The museum’s dental collection has dozens of dentures made from these exact materials. What makes this denture interesting are the two inscriptions: In pencil or ink on the top of the palate it reads, “FOUND AT SHILOH BATTLEFIELD”; and etched into the bottom of the palate “FOUND AT BATTLE OF SHILOH”.