There are certain products that you are just not likely ever to encounter no matter how many estate sales, swap meets or junk shops you visit. But despite the poor odds, I was lucky enough to come into possession of this stunning cast aluminum cranium from the Columbia Dentoform Corp. of New York.
At first I was pretty certain that this must have come from some long dismantled cyborg, perhaps a Fembot. Then my friend showed me the rest of the stuff in the box that he had scored. An articulated aluminum jaw with a perfect set of pearly whites and pink gums, some big mandible plates and an extremely stout display stand. Still not sure what it was, I figured that it was just some sort of model designed for dentists to use while educating patients, or maybe mocking up orthodonture.
But a quick trip to the Columbia Dentoform Website revealed that it was in fact the skull of a Dental teaching mannequin.
Columbia Dentoform dates back to 1917 when Ben Spitzer sold articulators and attachments to dental laboratories. He created the first manikin for dental teaching and practice, and sold it to the University of California at San Francisco. It was subsequently used in course work and, for the first time, provided an effective means to ensure basic competency before providing treatment to patients.Hey, they even have practice patients for learning veterinary dentistry!
My friend got the full manaquinn setup, I got a spare skull.
I'm sort of tempted to order the rest of the parts for my cranium. I would like to have the teeth, gums and jaw but I think I'll skip the creepy latex face and tongue for now.