This early 1950s color long advertising film is the story of the Weber Dental Manufacturing Company in Canton, Ohio. An 1896 photo of Henry Ernst Weber, a pharmacist in Canton, Ohio, is shown. His first invention was a dental cuspidor. A reenactment shows Weber creating a miniature fountain within a brass bowl. Water runs in a future dental cuspidor version made of opaque self-cleaning glass (:50-3:03). A late 1800s dental office is shown. Mr. Weber also invented a dental chair that could be tilted back. A female patient is tilted completely back by a 1960s dentist. The chair’s compensating spring is shown in action (3:04-4:36). A complete Weber dental equipment package is shown. A hand puts a Weber label on a wooden shipping container (4:37-5:12). Weber products shown are a 1908 photo of a dentist chair, a 1916 Model B Unit, a 1919 and 1925 x-ray unit, and the 1950s Model J, shown in practice with a female assistant, female patient, and male dentist (5:13-6:03). A hand holding a Weber x-ray unit casts shadows on the table. Two different tubes to the x-ray unit are shown (6:04-6:19). A family picture album has fake flowers on the top. It is opened to show the 1896 photo of Henry Weber. The next photo is of Russell McGuire, successive owner of the Weber Dental Manufacturing Company (6:20-7:14). A Roadway Express truck backs past 1940s and 1950s vehicles. Weber chair castings are moved by a forklift. A wall is full of steel and brass tubing. The metal tubes are shown up-close as they are refined by spinning tools. Long tongs remove a piece of red hot copper tubing from an open furnace and put it into a bucket of water for annealing (8:15-8:44). Induction brazing is shown. A piece of equipment is ground and polished. A piece of finished tubing is dunked into the copper plating tank. A chemist shakes bottles of liquids (8:45-9:38). An infrared view shows parts glowing white in the paint baking oven. A lacquer finish is hand-sprayed on. Women wearing 1950s aprons vigorously sand and polish the lacquered finish (9:39-10:13). The x-ray head transformer is assembled and placed in the x-ray head. A Weber engine armature is balanced on a stroboscope. A room is full of the x-ray units being tested. The chairlift assembly includes setting the rubber mountings and final adjustments (10:14-12:07). Multiple quickly spinning spools of black nylon weave around the rubber-coated electrical cords and rubber tubing (12:08-12:26). An inspector uses a large light to do a final inspection. The careful method of boxing a finished chair for shipment is shown (12:27-13:17). Shots of the Weber Dental Mgs. Co. building (designed by Guy Tilden) are shown. Black-and-white photos are shown of the Boston Beth Israel Hospital, the Houston Arabic Temple for Crippled Children, and the L.A. Orthopedic Hospital. Various long shots are shown of unidentified hospitals. The new 1951 classroom of the Ohio State University Dental School Building is shown (13:18-15:32). The Weber emblem is shown (15:33).
Also known as the Harvard Company, the Weber Dental Manufacturing Company was originally founded by Frank E. Case, a lawyer, inventor, and businessman who patented the first ever dental chair in Canton, Ohio. The company building was built in 1896 by premier architect Guy Tilden, located on 13th Street in Canton, Ohio. The building was elaborately built with Tilden using Roman-styled architecture constructing a one floor plant. He also included a three-story tower on top of the plant which included a female’s restroom and a document repository.
In 1937, the Weber Dental Company was bought out by the Harvard Company and operations began to move to Harvard Facilities. The Harvard Company then brought great prosperity to Weber Dental, raising it to become the largest x-ray machine and dental furniture manufacturer in the world, employing 320 people during the 1960s. In 1968, Stern Metals purchased Weber Dental for $5 million. Almost a decade later, Stern announced that Weber Dental would be closing its operations. Weber Dental had only 18 employees at the time of its closing.
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