Toothpaste collection, including whisky flavoured, breaks world record

29 September, 2023 / infocus
 Will Peakin  

Val Kolpakov, a dentist from Georgia in America, owns the world’s largest collection of toothpaste, according to the Guinness Book of Records — 2,037 different tubes from all over the world.

“I started my collection in 2001, to learn more as a dentist about all available toothpastes on the market,” Val explained. “Soon I realised that this is a very interesting hobby and tried to collect some old toothpastes and tubes from other countries,” he said.

He estimates the value of his collection to be about £24,000. Part of it is on display at his dental office, which he has turned into a “mini-museum” with tubes adorning most shelves, cabinets and walls, while the rest of the collection is stored in his home.

Back then, people believed that radioactive compounds revived your tissues

His favourite is a set of three whisky-flavoured toothpastes — rye, scotch, and bourbon — manufactured by Don Poynter, the novelty device inventor, in the 1950s. The novelty toothpaste contains three per cent alcohol. He is also fond of the rocket-shaped Orbit Dental Cream from the 1960s, which came with instructions to mail 25 cents for rocket fuel to launch the empty container in the air.

Among his more historic items are several German toothpaste tubes dug out of World War II trenches. Holding up a tube of Doramad toothpaste, Val said: “I consider this one of the most unusual ones because [it] is radioactive. It did have a radioactive compound, Thorium, because back then, people believed that radioactive compounds revived your tissues.”

He says his rarest item is a tube of Brenner’s toothpaste. “There is no such brand,” he explained. “It was made specifically for the series Prison Break – it was used with phosphoric acid inside the tube to corrode the pipes, and that would help them to escape [prison].”

Some of his samples come from companies not normally associated with toothpaste, for example crayon-shaped tubes created by Crayola and others created by tuna fish company StarKist.

Although he owns almost every kind of toothpaste imaginable, there is one which he regrets not buying: “It’s the toothpaste which has been in space,” he revealed. “I’m not quite sure which astronaut had it, but it was there; it was designed in a specific way so that you could squeeze it out in space.”

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