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Dental float

This medical device was the property of farmer Matts Mattsson Östman “Massis-Matt” (born 1839) of western Solf. He was a veterinarian in great demand who had learnt his skills from the parish clerk and organist Johannes Backman of Solf. He was known especially for his skills in equine medicine.

The float is an iron tool, 51 cm long, with a cylindrical wooden handle. There are visible grooves from filing horses´ teeth where the head meets the shaft.

It is said that Matts Östman considered inflammation of the gum tissue to be the cause of many horse diseases. He believed the sharp points on the molars were detrimental to the gums and the tongue and needed to be removed with the float. He would often finish his treatment by cupping the horse: he pricked the gums twice behind the dental arcade with a piercing tool.