Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
John W. Houck was born around 1873 in Scranton, Pennsylvania. In 1901, he and his brother Harry M. Houck graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine (known at that time as the University's "Department of Dentistry"). Houck returned to Scranton where he opened his own practice and worked for many years.
The dental school of the University of Pennsylvania was first established in 1878 and was soon recognized as one of Philadelphia's leading medical institutions. Three of the professors mentioned in Houck's notes (Essig, Truman and Kirk) served at one point or another as the dean of the dental school.
This collection contains three books of lecture notes recorded by John W. Houck at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine in 1900 and 1901. Each notebook contains the lecture material for one course and additional files contain miscellaneous notes, pamphlets and papers that were previously enclosed in the books. The notebooks have some blank pages as well as simple figures to illustrate the notes.
The first notebook in the collection is titled "Clinical Dentistry" and records lectures delivered by Dr. Edward Cameron Kirk, the dean of the dental school at that time (1901-1902). These notes describe conditions such as tooth calcification and infection of the dental pulp, with some short descriptions of suitable treatments. Additionally, the first few pages of the notebook discuss broadly the various factors that can lead to dental disease and offer advice for operating on children. A subsequent file contains a loose piece of paper with a list of nine questions relating to dental medicine on it, two personal letters sent to Houck (signed "Grace") on which he also took notes, and the beginning of one unfinished letter in Houck's hand.
The second notebook (third file) in the collection is labelled "Pathology- Dental." Most of the material in this book is from Dr. James Truman's lectures (Truman was dean of the dental school from 1883 to 1895) although it also contains some notes on bacteriology from lectures by Dr. Abbott. The bacteriology notes describe classes of bacteria, their patterns of growth and infection of humans. The other notes in the book describe such ailments as dental necrosis, inflammation, abscesses, shock, abrasion and erosion, gingivitis and pyorrhea alveolaris, along with treatments for each. The papers removed from this volume include two unlined pages of notes, two prescription cards for a pharmacy in Scranton, Pennsylvania and six pamphlets from the pharmaceutical company Kress and Owen, advertising the antiseptic glycol-thymoline. The brochures include numbers of testimonials from dentists who used the product.
The final notebook in this collection is titled "Prosthetic Dentistry," and is based on the lectures of Dr. Charles J. Essig (dean from 1878 to 1883). This notebook mostly describes the essential materials of dentistry such as plaster, celluloid strips and silica and how to use them. It also discusses options for patients who have lost teeth, including false teeth and dentures. The only loose papers removed from this volume are two pages of notes and one letter to Houck on which he took notes.
Transferred from the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, 2015.
- University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
- Finding Aid Author
- Rive Cadwallader
- Finding Aid Date
- 2016 February 22
- Access Restrictions
This collection is open for research use.
- Use Restrictions
Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.