Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Dentist's chair

This dentist's chair is another quirky object to be found in the 1853 Gallery on the ground floor of Salts Mill, Saltaire. Unlike the dressing table I featured yesterday, this perhaps is original to the Mill (although not Victorian!). In the 20th century, particularly after WWII when there were many displaced Eastern Europeans coming here in search of work, Salts of Saltaire provided a good healthcare package to its workers, including access to medical facilities on site. This probably included dentistry - I can't otherwise see why a dentist's chair would be on display among the priceless Hockney artworks... Even so, I'm glad to live in more modern times. I hate going to the dentist, so the thought of this primitive drill is rather horrific. If you want a glimpse into Victorian dentistry, try this link or take a look at this photograph of a Victorian dentist's surgery reconstructed at the Beamish Museum near Durham.

7 comments:

  1. Shudder!

    I saw a Victorian dentists chair at Shugborough Hall (Staffs) recently. Not nice!

    And then there was the surgeon's table...

    I'm definitely with you on the modern times bit!

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  2. I don't even want to think about it; shades of the dreadful dentist I had in the 50s who had equipment like that.

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  3. Dentistry is relative. Who knows what our descendants will think of the state of dentistry in 2010, compared to it in their lifetimes 100 years hence?

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  4. It looks like there was a time when the makers of barber chairs also made dentist chairs. I never really thought of that before. \

    I practically fall asleep in the dentist's chair these days. How times have changed.

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  5. Yikes!! Wonder if those are claw marks on the cushion...

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  6. I'm nervous just looking at that chair!

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