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James Beall Morrison Correspondence

Collector:
Morrison, James Beall, ?-1917  Search this
Medical Sciences, Division of, NMAH, SI.  Search this
Medical Sciences, Division of, NMAH, SI.  Search this
Donor:
Reynolds, Roger  Search this
Reynolds, Allene  Search this
Author:
Garrett, H. S.  Search this
Tomes, Charles S.  Search this
Sercombe, Edwin  Search this
Extent:
10 Items
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Date:
1869-1873
Summary:
Ten letters from London dentists to Morrison, a dentist and inventor, discussing his improved dental engine and improved dental chair. Eight letters are from Edwin Sercombe, with one from H. S. Garrett and another from Charles S. Tomes.
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of ten letters, arranged chronologically, received by Dr. Morrison between 1869 and 1873. All are from dentists in London and all but two are from Dr. Edwin Sercombe, Morrison's good friend and leading advocate on his behalf in England. Sercombe's letters are the most interesting. He writes about Morrison's dental engine and its warm reception in London: "All who have it are delighted with it and I hope before long every man of any claim to consideration must have it" (February 11, 1873). Although he suggests minor improvements in some of its features, Sercombe was pleased with how well it worked. Without prior approval, but on Morrison's behalf, he even entered the engine he was using in his own practice into an International Exhibition held in London in the summer of 1873.

Sercombe also describes alterations he made to his own dental chair and writes that he was eagerly awaiting Morrison's new and improved chair; he repeatedly requests Morrison to send him one, without delay. These letters indicate that Morrison was actively working on his dental chair long before it was patented in 1887. In addition, Sercombe writes about his own practice and about dentists whom both he and Morrison knew. Among the latter was Dr. Thomas Evans, the American dentist who rescued the French Empress from Paris during the Franco Prussian War of 1870. Sercombe evidently did not like Dr. Evans, referring to him as "your friend" in one letter and criticizing his dental work in another!
Arrangement:
Arranged chronologically.
Biographical / Historical:
Dr. James Beall Morrison began his study of dentistry in Steubenville, Ohio, in 1848, by apprenticing in the office of two established dentists. After a year or so, he formed a partnership with one of them and they set up a travelling practice among the towns in the area. By 1857, Morrison had gone to St. Louis, Missouri, where he practiced dentistry with his brother, William, until 1861 or 1862. He then went to practice in Paris for about a year, which he followed with six years of practice in London. He then returned to Missouri, where he practiced dentistry and worked at improving dental equipment until his death in December 1917.

Morrison had developed an aptitude for the mechanical side of dentistry early on, particularly during his apprenticeship in Steubenville. An example of his denture work, exhibited before the Ohio State Board of Agriculture in 1852, had been awarded a first prize. His first major contribution to dentistry came in 1871, when he developed and patented the first practical dental engine. Morrison's "bracket engine" consisted of a moveable arm and handpiece, both of which could be operarated by either foot power or other (belt driven) energy source. This was the pioneer of power driven dental tools. Later, in 1887, Morrison patented an improved dental operating chair which provided a wide range of movement.
Provenance:
Collection donated by Roger and Allene Reynolds,1991, November 21.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Inventors -- 19th century  Search this
Inventions -- 19th century  Search this
Dentists  Search this
Dentistry  Search this
Dental technology -- History  Search this
Dentistry -- History  Search this
Citation:
James Beall Morrison Correspondence, 1869-1873, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0442
See more items in:
James Beall Morrison Correspondence
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0442
Additional Online Media:

Kern Dental Equipment Collection

Creator:
Kern, George Robert, 1894-1962 (cabinet maker, machinist)  Search this
Kern, George Robert, Jr., 1919-1987  Search this
Source:
Medical History, Division of (NMAH, Smithsonian Institution).  Search this
Names:
Densco, Inc.  Search this
Fairfax Manufacturing Company.  Search this
Hazleton Laboratories.  Search this
Kern Laboratory Equipment Company.  Search this
Hazelton, L. W.  Search this
Henninger, R. G.  Search this
Former owner:
Medical History, Division of (NMAH, Smithsonian Institution).  Search this
Extent:
3 Cubic feet (9 boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Correspondence
Drawings
Patents
Blueprints
Advertisements
Date:
1936-1970
Summary:
Blueprints, drawings, patent applications, patents, product photographs, correspondence, bills and receipts, advertising, and published articles related to the Kerns' products. The bulk of the material, 1949-1958, is from George Kern's files. It primarily relates to the development and marketing of the Dentagraph and high speed dental drills before the formation of the Fairfax Manufacturing Company in 1957.
Scope and Contents:
This collection includes blueprints and drawings, patent applications, patents, product photographs, correspondence, bills and receipts, advertising, and published articles related to the Kern's products. The bulk of the material, dating from 1949 to 1958, is from George Kern's files. It primarily relates to the development and marketing of the Dentagraph and high speed dental drills before the formation of the Fairfax Manufacturing Company in 1957. Most of the FMC material document's Kern's role as a stockholder. However, a large portion of the blueprints and drawings were created by his son or other FMC employees. Several of the patents are George Kern, Jr.'s, and there are copies of other people's patents that relate to the Kerns' patents or inventing activities. The collection has been arranged in chronological order within five series.
Arrangement:
The collection is divided into five series.

Series 1: Personal Papers, 1952-1959

Series 2: Product Files, 1945-1968

Series 3: Marketing Records, 1936-1962

Series 4: Client Files, 1949-1958

Series 5: Competitor Files, 1957
Biographical / Historical:
George Robert Kern was born in 1894 and died in 1962. He was an Arlington, Va., area cabinet maker and machinist who went on to invent several pieces of dental equipment that helped revolutionize the field of dentistry in the early 1950s he was joined in these endeavors by his son, George Kern, Jr.

The elder George Kern began working with dental equipment according to his promotional material because of his own experience with poor fitting dentures. As a machinist accustomed to tight tolerances, he knew it must be possible to make dentures fit better. The result of his work was the Dentagraph and his first patent, granted in 1950. In 1948 a company, Kern laboratory, was incorporated to manufacture the Dentagraph and license the "Dentagraph Tech nic." He also sold dental laboratory benches and dental molding materials under the name Kern Laboratory Equipment Company. Kern's Dentagraph was used by the National Standards Laboratory to test denture materials and the laboratory further improved the device. Apparently Kern received the rights to produce and market this improved tool.

In the early 1950s he began working on high speed dental drills. He developed both a water turbine drill and an air turbine drill. The water turbine drill was manufactured by Bowen Company of Maryland under the trademarked name Turbo Jet. In 1957 the company acquired the rights to this tool and its trademark.

Kern and his son improved on the water turbine drill, and in 1957 formed Fairfax Manufacturing Company (FMC) to produce an air turbine drill and the improved water turbine drill. The senior Kern was a participating stockliolder, receiving stock in return for rights to his inventions. George Kern, Jr., L. W. Hazleton (President of Hazleton Laboratories, a biological (research and development company), and R. G. Henninger (General Manager of Hazleton Laboratories) were the company officers. The stockholders included dentists who also tested the companies new products. Densco, Inc., a Colorado dental equipment company, marketed Kern's products from around 1954, and in 1957 the company began to market Fairfax Manufacturing Company's products.

George R. Kern, Jr., was born in 1919. He left public school in the tenth but took courses in industrial electricity and industrial engineering. He worked for worked the National Bureau of Standards for two years building and installing laboratory equipment. In 1951 he began working at Hazelton Laboratories as Superintendent of Maintenance. He patented several pieces of

Dental equipment and specialized parts for dental equipment. He died in 1987.
Related Materials:
The Division of Medicine and Science has several examples of the Kerns' dental equipment, including a Dentagraph and a number of hand pieces.
Provenance:
Collection donated by John Kern, 1992, December 22.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
Usage or copyright restrictions in effect. Contact the repository for details.
Occupation:
Cabinetmakers -- 1930-1970  Search this
Inventors -- 1930-1970  Search this
Machinists -- 1930-1970  Search this
Topic:
Dental instruments and apparatus -- 1930-1970  Search this
Dental technology -- 1930-1970  Search this
Dentistry -- 1930-1970  Search this
Dentures -- 1930-1970  Search this
Inventions -- 1920-2000 -- United States  Search this
Genre/Form:
Correspondence -- 20th century
Drawings -- 1930-1970
Patents -- 20th century
Blueprints -- 20th century
Advertisements -- 20th century
Citation:
Kern Dental Equipment Collection, 1936-1970, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0479
See more items in:
Kern Dental Equipment Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0479

Charles H. Land Papers

Source:
Science, Medicine and Society, Division of (NMAH, SI).  Search this
Creator:
Land, Charles H., 1847-1922  Search this
Lindbergh, Charles A. (Charles Augustus), 1902-1974  Search this
Former owner:
Science, Medicine and Society, Division of (NMAH, SI).  Search this
Extent:
0.5 Cubic feet (1 box, 1 oversized folder)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Photographs
Patents
Financial records
Letters (correspondence)
Writings
Sermons
Articles
Date:
1860-1957
Summary:
The collection documents inventor and dentist Charles H. Land and consists of correspondence, financial records, patent records, articles, printed material, writings, sermons and photographs.
Scope and Contents:
The collection consists of correspondence, financial records, patent records, articles, printed material, writings, sermons and photographs documenting the inventor and dentist Charles H. Land. The correspondence includes one letter written to Dr. Land, but the majority were written after Dr. Land's death and deal primarily with honors bestowed upon him and the Charles H. Land Museum. Two letters are in German. The financial materials consist of dental fees information and invoices from Baker & Company Gold, Silver and Platinum Refiners and Buffalo Dental Manufacturing Company. The patent records contain United States, Canadian, and French patents issued to Dr. Land. The writings deal exclusively with notes and letters written by Charles H. Land, Jr. in 1957. The notes describe issues surrounding the dental field. The sermons, 1860-1863, have no identified author, but three of the six sermons have titles:A.U. The Memory of a Christian Departed , P.U. Godly Sorrow , andNational Thanksgiving . There are four photographs, two of which show Dr. Land working.
Arrangement:
The collection is divided into eight series.

Series 1, Biographical Materials, 1909-1915

Series 2, Correspondence, 1898-1956

Series 3, Financial Materials, 1872-1891

Series 4, Patent Records, 1877-1914

Subseries 4.1, United States Patents, 1877-1914

Subseries 4.2, Canadian and French Patents, 1887-1894

Series 5, Articles and Printed Materials, 1905-1956

Series 6, Writing of C.H. Land, Jr., 1957

Series 7, Sermons, 1860-1863

Series 8, Photographs, undated
Biographical / Historical:
Charles H. Land (1847-1922) was born in Simcoe, Ontario, Canada. Educated in New York, Land studied dentistry under J.B. Meacham of Canada and from 1864-1866 joined the offices of Drs. Sherwood, Haskell and Allport in Chicago, Illinois. From 1871 until his death in 1922, Land practiced dentistry in Detroit, Michigan. In 1875, he married Evangeline Lodge of Detroit and had two children, Charles H., Jr., and Evangeline. Land originated the "Land System of Dentistry" which included many of his patented processes, especially the adaptation of porcelain to dental restorations. Many of his patents deal with devices to aid porcelain work.
Provenance:
Gift of Charles A. Lindbergh, 1965.

Custodial History: The Division of Science, Medicine and Society transferred the collection to the Archives Center in 2003.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research use.

Physical Access: Researchers must handle unprotected photographs with gloves. Researchers must use reference copies of audiovisual materials.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Opium  Search this
Inventors -- 19th century  Search this
Inventions -- 19th century  Search this
Dentistry -- History  Search this
Dentists  Search this
Dental technology -- History  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs -- 19th century
Patents
Financial records -- 20th century
Letters (correspondence) -- 1880-1890
Financial records -- 19th century
Letters (correspondence) -- 20th century.
Writings
Sermons
Articles
Citation:
Charles H. Land Papers, dates, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0834
See more items in:
Charles H. Land Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0834

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