Our first installment of “Everything Old Is New Again” featured such dental powerhouses as Johnson & Johnson and Hu-Friedy, but the list was far from comprehensive. I was surprised to find that more than a few dental companies have been in existence for several generations. Below are a few more who have been helping dentists longer than some of their patients have been alive.
Pelton & Crane was founded in 1900 by Dr. R.M. Pelton, a dentist, and Mr. Crane, an electrical engineer, with the purpose of designing and manufacturing a furnace used to bake porcelain inlays. Today, Pelton & Crane is a leader in innovative cabinetry and operatory equipment. Check out some of their current offerings in Benco Dental’s 2018 Equipment Catalog.
George Eastman was crucial in the development of flexible film for personal cameras and for dental x-rays. His company, Eastman Kodak, created the first commercially available prepackaged dental film in 1913. While it’s true that today, dentists are transitioning from film to digital for radiographs, Benco Dental still offers for sale Kodak dental film to those who have yet to make the switch.
Better known today as Dentsply Caulk, this company is the world’s largest manufacturer of artificial teeth and consumable dental products. It was created more than 100 years ago in New York City by Dr. Jacob F. Frantz, George H. Whiteley, Dean C. Osborne, and John R. Sheppard. In 1899 these four men (all with experience in the dental business) opened a retail dental supply service under the name The Dentists’ Supply Co. of New York. The four focused at first on manufacturing superior artificial teeth, but gradually moved into creating other dental consumables, such as the Twentieth Century Alloy advertised in “The Dental Cosmos” in 1917. Today, the company remains an innovator in such items as impression material. See their listings in the Impression section of the current Benco Dentist Desk Reference.
The vintage ads above were featured in a journal “The Dental Cosmos, a Monthly Record of Dental Science,” the first enduring national journal for the American dental profession. It published from 1859 to 1936, when it merged with the “Journal of the American Dental Association”. The ads shown here appeared in the December, 1917 edition.