Dentists from all around Wisconsin during the 1890's used what seemed to be the same standard graphic of dentures in their ads. It must have been the one dental picture printers had handy at the time. A few dentists from Chicago actually had drawings of themselves inserted into the ad in the newspaper. Most dentists had it printed in newspapers that they did painless dentistry.
Back then Odontunder was used for the "painless" extraction of teeth. The ingredients were a mystery to dentists at the time. The Medical World had a list in 1893 of what was thought to be in Odontunder by a Dr. Charles L. Kerr of Falls City, Nebraska. The ingredients he said worked were - Olel gaultheriae, Chloroform, Ether sulph, Olel caryophyll, Chloralis, Alcoholis. The instructions from Dr. Kerr were to apply with cotton to each side of the tooth.
Dr. A.P. Burris of Janesville had an interesting marketing style. He used a drawing of what looks like a rat with a witch hat carrying a stick with four upper denture plates dangling from the stick. This was unusual compared to other dental advertising in Wisconsin at that time and it must have gotten a lot of attention.
In a biography about Dr. Burris it states that he invented a steam engine to use in filling teeth. It appears that his named was spelled incorrectly in the rat with dentures advertisement in the Jefferson County newspaper.
There were a few traveling dentists in Wisconsin. Some of them even came to towns where there were already dentists practicing at the same time. This was true in Boscobel, Wisconsin.
In 1894 dentists W.T Hurd and Dr. R.R. Powell both had small ads in The Enterprise published on January 17, 1894. Dr. N. Weinberg was coming to town during that time and let everyone know in the very same newspaper on Jan 31, 1894. The public was invited to come to the parlor at Central House in Boscobel during one week in February to see him. Thirteen patients who lived in Richland Center who had work done by Weinberg and would endorse him were named in the newspaper. Dr. N. Weinberg was noted to be the painless dentist and head of Columbus Dental Parlors of Chicago.
E.H. Keith placed an ad in the Eagle River Democrat on Monday July 1st, 1895 that he would be in Eagle River on the 27th and 28th of each month and he let people know he used Odontunder for extractions. His office was in Rhinelander but he came to see patients at the Veronica Hotel in Eagle River, Wisconsin.
W.T. Poad was a dentist in Marshfield. His competition was a dentist named E.V. Kautsky. They both were listed in the Marshfield News under the business cards section on July 25, 1895. Poad had the upper plate graphic next to his tiny ad and it said he used gas to extract teeth. W.T. Poad also placed an ad in the Wisconsin State Gazetter 1895-96 edition. It stated Poad did "Dentistry in all its branches." Dentists seemed to stop placing large ads in the Wisconsin State Gazetter after this edition.
Dentist E.H. Watrous had the standard graphic of the upper plate denture in the Sheboygan Herald on Sept 29, 1894. Then he started using Steadman Springs dentures and a graphic of them appeared with Watrous' ad in the Sheboygan Herald on April 27, 1895. The spring idea on a denture didn't really catch on like they expected.
In 1912 a paper was published on the use of swivel springs on dentures by the Royal Society of Medicine. W.W. Gabell had said that he thought the ignorance of the use of springs was why they had fallen into disuse. If you look at the picture Watrous used in the Sheboygan Herald of the Steadman Springs denture you might agree that they just looked painful to wear.
One of the only ads without dentures as an eye-catching graphic was from Dr. F.E. Pilcher of Portage, Wisconsin. Pilcher did not advertise pain free dentistry either and stated that bridge, crown and gold work were a specialty. Dr. Pilcher's dental office was located over the post office. (The Daily Register, Monday January 7, 1895).
An unfortunate incident was noted about Dr. Pilcher in a dental magazine called The Dental Summary (Vol. 22). It was reported that Dentist F.E. Pilcher of Sparta, Wisconsin was "held up" and robbed of a gold watch and $50 in money on October 1st, 1901.
Dr. W.W. Tarr placed an ad in the Racine Daily Journal on Jan 26, 1895. A drawing of him was right below an ad about curing syphilis. Tarr's ad was also near a story from the Buffalo Express about a barber named Balthasar Guggenheimer using hypodermic syringes in shaving bristles and injecting customers with cocaine. The story talks about how victims suffered at the barbers before the "happy" discovery of ether, nitrous oxide and cocaine. Times sure have changed.
Enjoy the slide show.