SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Fear Factor: 1942

Fear Factor: 1942

New York, 1942. Kathryn Crum, the wife of bandleader Eddie South, in the dental chair. Another of Albert Fenn's uncaptioned photos from the OWI archive. Now, Mrs. South, if you'll just open a little wider, this won't hurt a bit. View full size.

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1940s Dentistry

Only the pain in your ankles from when your feet crashed through the ceiling kept your mind off the agony that was happening in your mouth. I have fond memories of trips to the dental office back then. It only took two cops and my mother to undo my death grip upon a hydrant to get me inside.

Unpleasant Memories

I have a bunch of 1950s vintage fillings from a drill just like that. And on top of that Novocain wasn't used for any of them either.

OWI is right! Ow!!!

The thought of having dental work done in 1942 makes me quake in fear. As late as the '90s, even simple dental procedures HURT!!!

Low Speed Drill

Those low speed uncooled drills are manly drills, painwise.

The modern high speed water cooled drills that came in in the 60s are a piffle, nothing.

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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