Pedal-operated dental drill, circa 1910. Used for dental treatment of patients at Ballarat Hospital for the Insane, Victoria, Australia.

Physical Description

Pedal dental engine has drill on end of 98cm elbowed arm, connected to tall thin, vertical pole, lower part of which supports 30cm diam. vertical flywheel, operated by foot pedal. Pedal has 2 round rubber foot grips and is slim with elegant cut-out design. Piston connects to axle of wheel (which has curved, petal-shaped spokes. Fly-belt leads from wheel to 2 small cogwheels at top of pole, then to 2 more at elbow of arm. Arm jointed at elbow and at join to pole, which consists of 3 pipes fitting into each other and held by screws to allow height adjustment. Base is Y-shaped (with curved top). Machine is black-plated to just above flywheel, then nickle(?) plated.


Example of dentistry equipment used in Victorian mental health hospitals

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