Hydraulic dental chair, Europe, 1891-1910

Made:
1891-1910 in Europe
maker:
Unknown
Dental chair with hydraulic adjustment, c.1900. Full 3/4 view, graduated grey background. Dental chair with hydraulic adjustment, c.1900. Detail of carved arm, graduated grey background.

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Dental chair with hydraulic adjustment, c.1900. Full 3/4 view, graduated grey background.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Dental chair with hydraulic adjustment, c.1900. Detail of carved arm, graduated grey background.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Dental chair with hydraulic adjustment, c.1900

The first hydraulic dental chair was invented in 1877 by American dentist Basil Manly Wilkerson (1842-1910). The chair was easier to adjust than the older wooden ones that worked using a hand-cranked mechanism. With a padded linoleum seat and head rest, the chair was also more comfortable than previous designs. As a specialised piece of furniture it is representative of the emergence of dentistry as a separate profession. The quality of the chair further suggests that there was a wealthy clientele willing to pay for dental services.

Details

Category:
Dentistry
Object Number:
A602077
Materials:
arm rests, wood, carved, fittings, brass, fittings, nickel (plated), foot rest, linoleum, red, frame, iron, cast and seat (padding), leatherette
type:
hydraulic dental chair
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
  • dental equipment
  • dentist's chair