Nose Prosthetics


Nose Prosthetics


The article attached to this post highlights Dr. T. M. Pearce’s facial prosthetics work in 1898. Dr. Pearce shared a dental practice with Dr. Lowe in Covington, KY. In the article, he was creating a “false nose” for a patient in Columbus, OH. Dr. Pearce probably received his prosthetics training in dental school. His skills were requested for the 70-year-old patient in Columbus because the patient needed a new nose to cover the area that had been damaged when he was kicked by a horse at the age of 5. The term “false nose” is no longer used, and nose prosthetics are now designed by anaplastologists. Anaplastology is a branch of medicine, though is some locations around the world where there is not a certified anaplastologist, a dentist or technician with specialized training may also be awarded the title. There are many reasons why a person may not have a nose: a birth defect, disease, or trauma. Long ago, one’s nose could be removed as judicial punishment. There is also more than one case where a person was so displeased with the look of their nose that they had it surgically removed and replaced with a prosthetic. It is not known when the first facial prosthetics were devised, but they have been in use for many centuries. Danish astronomer, Tycho Brache (1546-1601), had an artificial nose made of gold. He lost his nose in a sword fight while dueling with his third cousin in 1566. At the close of the 1800s, vulcanite was widely used for maxillofacial prosthetics. Vulcanite is a vulcanized (hardened) rubber. Dr. Pearce, in Covington, KY, was using vulcanite in his work in 1898. Various other materials are used today: acrylic resins, plasticizers, and elastomers.


Thomas A. Davis




2. G Sperati. “Amputation of the nose throughout history,” Acta Otorhinolaryngol Ital. 2009 Feb; 29(1): 44–50. Accessed 2021-04-15.
3. Tycho Brahe – Wikipedia. Accessed 2021-04-15.
4. Alqutaibi, Ahmed Yaseen. “Materials of facial prosthesis: History and advance,” International Journal of Contemporary Dental and Medical Reviews (2015). Accessed 2021-04-15.


Reinette Jones, University of Kentucky Librarian & African American Studies Academic Liaison


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“Nose Prosthetics,” Kentucky Digital Newspaper Program Exhibits, accessed March 25, 2023,

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