|Description: Foot pedal-powered portable dental engine. The lower portion consists of the base, pedal, and wheel, all made of steel, painted black. The base is T-shaped. One arm is foldable with a wing nut and bolt. The pedal is rectangular with square ridged pads for the toe and heel. The centre of the pedal is pierced with a diamond (1.2 cm) surrounded by 4 'incisor'-shaped rectangles (5.3 x 1.3 cm). Above the toe pad there is a triangular piercing (4.0 x 3.0 cm). The driving arm is joined to the tip of the pedal and the centre of the wheel. The wheel is 31.5 cm in diameter, 7.5 cm wide. Of the four main spokes, 3 are divided about half-way along their length. There are 15 holes (1.3 cm) in the wheel rim, on the side with the divided spokes. The entire lower portion is painted black and decorated with golden curlicues. The power cord is braided, approx 0.15 cm. in diameter and 268.0 cm long. The carrying handle is t-shaped, mounted at the top of the wheel frame, and made of polished steel. The upright frame is 51.0 cm, extendible to 91.0 cm. with a knurled screw stop. On the top of the drive arm there are two oil receptacles, one on either wide of the pulley. The drive arm consists of the cord pulley, a horizontal bar (15.0 cm x 1.5 cm) and a 6.5 cm length of spring-wound steel. The centre of the length is covered with braided cotton; there are knurled nuts at each end. The section immediately before the hand piece is covered with leather. The hand piece is made of polished steel, with a spring clip (unknown purpose) and mechanism for changing the working tip. The base of the item is painted with the word "ASH" above the word "Trademark" in white, both above a crest-like shape enclosing the letters "C, & S, A" in gold on a green background. Below the crest is: "London Reg'd England" also in white. Inscribed on the hand piece is: "The S.S. White Dental Mfg. Co." A letter "M" is scratched on the hand piece and also on the top of the base, on the top of the pedal mount, and on top of the drive arms horizontal bar. A letter "I" is embossed on the cap of the oil receptacles. Scratched on the underside of the base is: "MIIRRI".
History: The dental engine was owned and used by Marissa Machen. The Faculty of Dentistry at U. of T. has been asked to verify information received from the donors. REF: Dr. Ann Dale, Museum at University of Toronto 416-979-4900.
Ash Instruments began in 1820 when Claudius Ash, a man from a family of silversmiths and goldsmiths in London (UK) began making denture parts to order with his four sons. The business originally operated at 9 Broad Street (now Broadwick Street), part of London's Soho district. By 1854, records show that the business had expanded and was employing 42 workers. During the mid 19th century, the family business, known as Claudius Ash and Sons Ltd., prospered and the company began manufacturing and supplying a wide range of materials, including porcelain teeth, rubber and waxes, as well as early versions of the burs and hand instruments Ash Instruments is known for today. By the turn of the 20th century, the company was supplying products to over 30 countries. In 1924, the company expanded and merged with a Swiss company, DeTrey Ltd, to form the Amalgamated Dental Company Ltd. The company continued to grow until it was sold in 1976, and became part of the US-based DENTSPLY family, and the DENTSPLY Ash Instruments was born (along with DENTSPLY DeTrey, based in Konstanz, Germany). DENTSPLY Ash Instruments has been located at its manufacturing plant in Plymouth since 1977, with supporting business functions split between Plymouth, and Weybridge, Surrey.
Claudius Ash died in a Cholera epidemic that hit Broad Street in 1854. The 1854 Cholera epidemic in Soho claimed 500 lives in around 10 days. Six deaths were recorded at Claudius Ash & Sons. Physician, John Snow, identified the source of the outbreak to be centered on a public water pump in Broad Street, mere metres from the Ash premises.|