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Fun Facts – Give Your Staff a Quick History Lesson with These 5 Famous Dentists!

April 1st, 2015
pictures of famous dentists title card

Here are 5 facts you can share with your staff and patients. From a Hollywood actor to one of the earliest photographers, these dentists have done a lot more than just ensure healthy smiles!

 

1. Friedrich “Fritz’ Pfeffer

(30 April 1889-20 December 1944)
Mr. Pfeffer, a German dentist, was a Jewish refugee who hid with Anne Frank during the Nazi Occupation of the Netherlands. He died in the Neuengamme concentration camp which was located in Northern Germany. Anne Frank wrote about Mr. Pfeffer in her diary, but to protect his identity she referred to him as Albert Dussel. While not a fun fact, it is a meaningful fact and notable in history.

A young Dr. Pfeffer alongside his two brothers, Ernst and Emil. Photo from: http://www.annefrankguide.net/en-GB/bronnenbank.asp?aid=10632

 

2. Dr. Samuel A. Bemis
(1793-1881)
Dr. Bemis is one of the earliest known photographers in the United States and some of his daguerreotypes (a photograph taken by an early photographic process employing an iodine-sensitized silvered plate and mercury vapor) survive to this day. He was practicing dentistry in April of 1840 when he acquired a camera, becoming one of the first Americans to take a photograph. His photos are some of the earliest known American images of natural landscapes, at a time when photographers mostly shot portraits.

This early photo shot by Dr. Bemis dates all the way back in the mid-1840’s. Photo from: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dr._Samuel_A._Bemis_(American_-_View_of_a_Barn_in_New_Hampshire_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg

 

3. Martin van Butchell
(1735-1814)
Martin van Butchell was a London dentist during the 1760s. Without access to the anesthetics that we have today, dentists were probably not very popular. It seems Mr. Butchell had some extremely unique marketing ideas. When his wife passed away Mr. Butchell had two friends, Dr. William Hunter and Dr. William Cruikshank, help to embalm her and then he used her as an attraction to gain more patients! Creepy.

Dr. Butchell was quite eccentric – riding around London on his purple spotted horse! Image from: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Martin_van_Butchell._Woodcut._Wellcome_V0005978.jpg

 

4. Dipak Nanalal Chudasama
(20 May 1963)
Mr. Chudasama was a Kenyan cricket player known as “The Doc”, a nickname earned because he is also an orthodontist. He made his cricket debut around 1980, and by 1996 he was representing Kenya at the World Cup! Playing in the 1990, 1994, and 1997 ICC Trophies, he was also in 20 One-Day international matches. Sounds like he was an incredible representative of the sport!

The 1996 Kenyan World Cup cricket team. Photo taken from: http://www.cricketcountry.com/articles/world-cup-1996-kenya-shock-undercooked-west-indies-23540

 

5. Edgar Buchanan
(20 March 1903- 4 April 1979)
Edgar was an American film and television actor. You might remember him from shows like Petticoat Junction, Green Acres, and Beverly Hillbillies. What you may not know is that Mr. Buchanan, before working as an actor, had followed in his father’s footsteps by becoming a dentist! Your young patients won’t know who he is, but maybe their parents will!

Dr. Buchanan (pictured bottom left) in his iconic role as Uncle Joe in Petticoat Junction. Photo taken from: http://tralfaz.blogspot.com/2012/06/no-1-man-in-hooterville.html

Go share your new knowledge of these famous dentists!

 

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