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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • BRITISH COLUMBIA VACATION-LAND: 1950s

Philadelphia Dental Rooms: 1904

Philadelphia Dental Rooms: 1904

1904. "Fifth Avenue, Pittsburg, Pa." Address of the Philadelphia Dental Rooms, on what seems to have been Pittsburgh's go-to street for Painless Dentistry. Looming over it all is the recently completed Farmers Bank building. View full size.

 

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An almost completely different world.

What a difference a century or so can make. At least the Frick Building still stands:

A Most Interesting Neighborhood

I believe this is near the intersection of Fifth and Wood Street: an interesting neighborhood. Just a block south, at the corner of Forbes and Wood, stands "The Skinny Building," three stories wide, but only five feet wide. A couple blocks north is Wood Street Station, part of Pittsburgh's subway. Many visitors are surprised that Pittsburgh, like Paris and New York, has a subway.

Old technology

I remember going with my father to his dentist when I was in kindergarten just to get out of my mom's hair. The dentist was an old man about ready to retire, so he had not updated his equipment in quite some time.

He had a foot operated drill which wasn't bad enough but he had arthritis in his knees, so the drill would slow down and speed up. I can only presume the drills were not as sharp as they should have been, compounding the pain.

This memory kept me away from the dentist for years. It was not until I got married in 1981 that I went to a dentist on the insistence of my new bride. He had a field day with my mouth. 14 cavities. 1 crown. 3 root canals. 1 pulled.

As the saying goes "Be true to your teeth otherwise they will be false to you."

Union Veteran Legion

The Union Veteran Legion, founded in 1884, was an organization of Union Civil War veterans who had "volunteered prior to July 1, 1863, for a term of 3 years, and were honorably discharged. Service in the military had to be of at least two years' duration if the discharge was due to wounds encountered on the battlefield."

Contrast that with the much larger Grand Army of the Republic, which did not have any restrictions for length of service.

There must have been some sort of friction between long-serving veterans and those who had served only a short time.

Note the dates - UVL was founded about 19 years after the end of the Civil War. This 1904 photo is 39 years after the end of the war, so the members are now in their sixties.

Farmers Bank focus

Why does the Farmers Bank building get more blurry the higher up you go?

[Use of the tilt-shift method to control parallel lines in tall buildings can bring the photographic plate into the edge range of the lens, where spherical aberration is most prominent. -tterrace]

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