By the time Don Poynter was a college student, he had already created his company Poynter International and was spending nearly half his time in Asia manufacturing novelty products. Among his inventions were the first talking toilet seat, the first basketball backboard for a wastebasket, Jayne Mansfield’s official hot water bottle and the world’s smallest working record player, sold with 39 tiny records. But since it’s Friday, we’re going to focus on another of his inventions– whiskey flavoured toothpaste.
In 1954, Don secured a $10,000 bank loan and began manufacturing the best damn reason to brush your teeth twice a day.
The toothpaste was available in Bourbon and Scotch flavours and contained 3% alchohol. The product gained enough buzz that LIFE magazine did a story on it and Poynter’s invention became a popular novelty product across the country in the 1950s. The idea was later copied by several other brands and Poynter ceased production soon after.
Here’s a better look at the original packaging:
Made in the good ol’ USA, it sure looks like the whiskey toothpaste workshop wasn’t a horrible place to work…
Oh and just in case you were curious…
Here’s that hot water bottle he made for Jayne Mansfield ↑, and that tiny gramophone complete with recordings from a real live orchestra. In total, Poynter Products has over 100 patented novelty products and you can find quite a few of them for sale on eBay. Sadly, I could find no whiskey flavoured toothpaste.
Photostory by Wallace Kirkland for LIFE magazine.