News | May 3, 2000

"Women in Dentistry" on Display at National Museum

The pioneer women in dentistry were worthy of recognition and admiration – and their own special exhibition at the Dr. Samuel D. Harris National Museum of Dentistry of Dentistry in Baltimore.

The exhibit, titled "A New Role Model: Women in Dentistry," remains on display until September.

According to a press release, women dentists broke the traditional barriers for their gender and set the standards for those who followed in their paths as dental professionals.

Lucy Hobbs Taylor, the first women in the world to graduate from a recognized dental college in 1866, will be highlighted as "Women in Dentistry" explores the dynamics which allowed for change in the workforce as well as the establishment of women in dental associations, specialty societies, and the military.

Featured is a model of Dr. Hobb's dental office furnished with late 19th century dental equipment from the museum's collection including a Morrisson cast iron dental chair, a kerosene dental lamp, a foot drill, a marbled-top dental cabinet, and a replica of Dr. Hobb's diploma.

In addition to Dr. Hobbs, the exhibition will feature early women dentists, including the following.

  • Emiline Robert Jones, the first woman to establish herself in a regular dental practice in the United States, 1859;
  • Henriette Hirschfeld, the first woman to complete the full dental curriculum, 1869;
  • Emile Froeking, the first women graduate of the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery, 1873;
  • Malvina Cueria, the first woman dental assistant, 1885;
  • Ida Gray Rollins, the first African-American women dental graduate, 1890;
  • Irene Newman, the first dental hygienist, 1906;
  • M. Evangeline Jordan, the author of the first textbook on pediatric dentistry, 1927; and
  • Helen E. Myers, the U.S. Army's first woman dentist, 1951.

"Women in Dentistry" also will highlight the history of the dental team with special emphasis on the role of the dental assistant and the dental hygienist. The exhibition is made possible in part by Colgate-Palmolive and is curated by Dr. John M. Hyson Jr. in collaboration with the American Association of Women Dentists, the American Dental Hygienists' Association, and the American Dental Assistants Association.

The Dr. Samuel D. Harris National Museum of Dentistry is located at 31 S. Greene St. on the campus of the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

Hours are Wednesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m. Admission is $4.50 for adults and $2.50 for youths, senior citizens and students with identification. Children six years and younger are admitted at no cost.

Edited by Chris Smith

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