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Hydraulic dental chair, Philadelphia, United States, 1925-1935

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Known as the ‘Diamond 2’, this dental chair was the first to have a non-sprung anatomically shaped seat. The chair was more comfortable than previous designs. As specialised furniture, dental chairs symbolised the emergence of dentistry as a separate profession. The quality of the chair suggests wealthy clientele were willing to pay for dental services. The first hydraulic dental chair was invented in 1877 by American dentist Basil Manly Wilkerson (1842-1910). The chair was easier to adjust than older wooden ones. These had worked using a hand-cranked mechanism. This was made by the S. S. White Dental Manufacturing Company of Philadelphia in the US.

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