Model of a foot-operated dental drill, c.1914 by Richter, German
This model represents a dental drill which is powered by pushing the foot pedal up and down. This is known as a treadle drill. The dental drill is used to remove decayed matter from the teeth, which can become infected and painful if left untreated.
The treadle drill was invented in 1871 by James Beall Morrison (1829-1917), an American dentist who also designed dental chairs. His drill was popular with dentists throughout Europe and America and is an example of the first mechanically powered drill, which speeded up dental treatments.