Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Toothsome trove

Yesterday, we highlighted the dental hygiene history materials from Friday's trip to the OHSU School of Dentistry vault; today we'll turn our attention to the rest of the haul.

On an earlier trip, we had picked up the majority of the oversize photographs, including some of dental school classes from a range of years. Last week, we brought up the rest of the class photos in 8 x 10 format, from the 1899 Tacoma Dental College class to the OHSU SOD Class of 2004. We also gathered up a smattering of images in other formats, including 35mm slide, glass plate negative, and copper plate etching. Other audiovisual materials in this installment are the raw footage from the school's centennial in 1999 (VHS) and a 1954 silent film of gold foil technique, created by Kenneth R. Cantwell, DMD (16mm).

A small stack of miscellaneous publications and a few wall plaques--including one rather mysterious one that will bear some study (more to follow, since we'll most likely need to appeal to the readership for some clue as to its meaning) also came up to the archives. But the most entertaining items are, again, the objects.

In a small cardboard box marked "history of prosthodontics", we received a number of dentures. Ivory dentures from the late 18th or early 19th century. Dentures made with the Fonzi technique, using platinum studs to anchor porcelain teeth to the denture base, from the mid-19th century. Vulcanite dentures. Celluloid dentures. A small green velvet-lined case holds three sets of dentures, one quite lurid in its redness (shown here). We even got a miniature set of dentures, created by Dr. T.W. McKinnon "just for fun." One set of dentures was kept to show the remarkable accretion of dental plaque on the prothesis; "disgusting, even to dentists," according to Dr. Henry Clarke. (I'll spare you a photo of that.)

We took in a beautiful dental mallet made of antler (also shown here) and an elevator with an ivory handle, worn to a warm yellow. Two dental keys, anterior and posterior, and two metal tools for removing pins from dental roots (which just sounds painful, doesn't it?)

We have a wonderful set of mounted tooth sections, prepared by student R.F. Banks at the North Pacific College in 1917. A lovely set of loupes (also shown here), a box of assorted handpieces from various eras, and a small box of random items including a glass vial with a worn label whose only legible word is POISON (good thing that word is legible, at least!).

All that, one one cart. Compact, condensed, concentrated--a nice dense history, to sink your teeth into!

No comments: