1900 - 1929

Sponsored by: Dr. & Mrs. Strother E. Murdoch Jr. in memory of Dr. C. D. Falls

The first three decades of the 20th century saw dental innovations such as the introduction of the porcelain-jacket crown, widespread use of Novocain for pain relief, the invention of the lost-wax casting machine for making bridges and dentures, and development of shock-proof x-ray machines. In the field of dental education, dental educator and practitioner G. V. Black published his still-used classification system for cavities and the first dental hygiene school in America opened.

By this time in South Carolina, dental offices in all but the most rural parts had electricity and running water. The water-powered motor attached to this chair was designed specifically for areas without electricity. Produced by the Alford Dental Motor Manufacturing Company, this combination dental motor and fountain cuspidor was powered by a water-powered turbine controlled by a foot pedal. The unit was invented and patented in 1904 by dentist William B. Alford and his brother Edwin P. Alford, both of Sumter, South Carolina.


Dr. C.D. Falls with dental assistant and patient. Courtesy of the family of Dr. Falls.

The Macaulay Dental Museum