Teeth and Innovation

Dentist’s office for employees, Cheney Brothers, Manchester, 1918. Connecticut Historical Society collections.

Dentist’s office for employees, Cheney Brothers, Manchester, 1918. Connecticut Historical Society collections.

On this day 149 years ago, the American Dental Association established their code of ethics. In Connecticut, compared to Horace Wells’ anesthesia of the 1840s, other innovations may prove lesser known but just as intriguing. Continue reading

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History and STEM

In a nation where the focus is being put on the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM for short), many of us in the fields of humanities are beginning to question our relevance.  With an education that included four years at a liberal arts college, I am definitely among those who hope to keep our history relevant in times of shifting focus.  So…let’s talk about history and STEM…

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Camera.1956. Gift of Mrs. Frieda B. Cantarow. 2001.88.1.

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Of fiery steeds…and lunatics

As a regular rider on the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail I have opportunity to pass many different types of bicycles—high tech racers, mountains, recumbents (are they really that comfortable?), hybrids, even tricycles. Occasionally my musings turn to pioneering bicycle styles, such as the high-wheeler or “ordinary” as it were called. How did they ever ride those? Of course, an even earlier type of bicycle was the “velocipede,” a two-wheeled cycle developed in France in the mid-1860s. Due to their rough, unforgiving ride these cycles were aptly nicknamed “boneshakers.” When such bicycles first appeared in the U.S. following the Civil War, some folks tried to duplicate them… Continue reading