Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Treasure Chest Thursday–The Big Reveal ~ What's In The Old Metal Tube?


Remember the mysterious old metal tube I told you about in my previous post Treasure Chest Thursday ~ Grandpa Debs' Black Briefcase?  Well, it's time for "The Big Reveal."

IMG_2313

When I took the lid off of this unique metal tube, I pulled out something wrapped in a brown waxy paper.  Unrolling the wax paper I discovered several amazing documents.

One of these documents was my Great-Grandpa Frederick Webster's Doctor of Dental Surgery Diploma from the Western Dental College in Kansas City, Missouri, dated April 2, 1896!  Unbelievable!  Here I was holding a document that was 116+ years old!  How cool is that?!  I just had to share this amazing find with you.

So here it is!



Frederick E. Webster Doctor of Dental Surgery Diploma 1896
Frederick E. Webster
Doctor of Dental Surgery Diploma
April 2, 1896
Click to Enlarge

I'd say this document is in remarkably good condition considering how old it is.  The diploma measures approximately 19" x 14" so it was too large for my flatbed scanner.  I used my Flip-Pal to scan the diploma and it worked great!

My regular readers may know that I sometimes like to crop and enlarge portions of the images I share in my posts.  I chose to do this in this post as well.

Let's start with the college name on the diploma – Western Dental College of Kansas City, Missouri.



Frederick E. Webster Dental Doctoral Diploma 1896 Cropped Western Dental College Cropped

I did a little research about Western Dental College and this is what I found:

The
University of Missouri-Kansas City website states the following,
"The lineage of the UMKC School of Dentistry reaches back to the 1881 founding of the Kansas City Dental College, then a department of the Kansas City Medical College. Eventually, the Dental College merged with the Western Dental College to form the Kansas City-Western Dental College. In 1941, the Dental College affiliated with the privately supported University of Kansas City and became that institution’s School of Dentistry. Twenty years later, the University of Kansas City joined the four-campus state University of Missouri system, and became the University of Missouri-Kansas City. As part of the merger, the dental school became the UMKC School of Dentistry."


Congratulations on your wonderful achievement Great-Grandpa Frederick!
"By virtue of the authority vested in this College by the State of Missouri and upon the completion of the prescribed Course of Study and the fulfilment [sic] of all requirements of this College it has this day conferred upon Fred E. Webster the Degree of Doctor of Dental Surgery, who shall be accorded all the honors privileges and legal rights pertaining to the Degree."

Frederick E Webster Dental Doctoral Diploma Name Cropped


It was actually nice (and kind of a relief) to know that my Great-Grandpa Frederick really did become a Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.), and that he wasn't just traveling around on his dental boat "practicing" the art of dentistry.  Yes, I did say "dental boat."  Below is a photo of the "F.E. Webster Dental Boat." 


Webster Dental & Photo Boats 1896 to1902 at Lake Charles Louisiana
F. E. Webster Dental & Photo Boats
1896-1902 at Lake Charles, Louisiana

I love that Fred had a Photo Boat too.  It's the boat next to the Dental Boat in the photo above.  And, believe it or not, Fred also had an Optical Boat with a sign out front that said "Eyes Tested Free."  You can see a photo of that boat here.


And here are the official signatories on Fred's Doctoral Diploma.


"In Witness Whereof is affixed the seal of the College and the signatures of the Directors and Professors.  Done at Kansas City Missouri U.S.A. Second day of April, 1896."

Frederick E. Webster Dental Doctoral Diploma 1896 Cropped Witness Signatures Cropped


I thought it would also be important to transcribe the signatures at the bottom of the diploma, in case any descendants of theirs may be reading this blog post. It's always fun to find an ancestor's signature.  Some of these signatures are difficult to decipher, so I'm afraid this transcription may not be as accurate as I'd like it to be.  (Trying to decipher doctors' signatures…what was I thinking?)


Left Column
J. M. Gross MD D.D.S
Secretary
D. J. McMillen MD D.D.S
Operative Dentistry, Crown and Bridge Work, Dean of Faculty
K. ?. Ashby D.D.S
Prosthetic Dentistry
Edward Bumgardner AM MD D.D.S
Metallurgy
Geo Halley MD
Oral Surgery
J. M. Gross MD D.D.S
Dental Pathology and Therapeutics
T. H. Cunningham D.D.S
Dental Pathology and Therapeutics
C. F. Wilson Ph.D.
Chemistry
C. F. Wainwright MD
Anaesthesia
John W. Kyger M.D.
Syphilis and its Influence on the Teeth


C. E. Nilson MD
Anatomy



Right Column
W. G. Price D.D.S. President
W. F. Kuhn AM MD Physiology
W. F. Fairbanks ? Physiology
Jim Allen AB MD Materia Medica and General Therapeutics
A. M. ? AM MD Materia Medica and General Therapeutics
J. M. Thompson MD Histology
H. O. Howawalt MD General Pathology
John Punton MD Neurology
H. H. Sullivan D.D.S. Hygiene
John H. Johnson MD Eye and Ear
W. C. K. Buchanan D.D.S. Embryology
W. J. Brady D.D.S. Orthodontia and Dental Techniques


So that's it!  The Big Reveal!  This remarkable 116+ year old document is truly an amazing family heirloom.  Thank you Great-Grandpa Frederick and Grandpa Debs for keeping this special document for your descendants to discover and enjoy.

Thanks for reading!


 © 2013 Copyright by Jana Last

48 comments:

  1. Kudos for Frederick! I can't help but find it interesting that they had what appears to be an entire department devoted to "Syphilis and its influence on the teeth." Prestigious enough that it was pre-printed on the diplomas LOL.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jenny,

      Yes, I found the existence of this specific department interesting as well.

      Thank you so much for stopping by!

      Delete
  2. I love this diploma! I'm from Kansas City so I was drawn to it, then I realized that the school became part of the UMKC system. That is where my dad earned his degrees. Your grandfather was a fighting 'Roo!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Heather,

      Wow! That's so cool! Yep, I guess Great-Grandpa was a fighting 'Roo too.

      Thanks so much for reading and for your comments!

      Delete
  3. What a treasure, indeed! Thanks for sharing it with all of us!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Linda,

      Oh yes, this document really is a genealogical treasure for our family. And I'm so happy to be able to share it with my readers.

      Thank you so much for reading and for your comments!

      Delete
  4. Jana that is so completely AWESOME! What a lovely find and what an inspiring man, quite the entrepreneur. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Valerie,

      Thanks! Yes, Fred was quite an interesting man with quite an interesting life, that's for sure.

      I so appreciate you stopping by to read my blog post and for your comments. Thank you!

      Delete
  5. That is fantastic! What a wonderful treasure.

    Betty

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Betty,

      Thank you! I'm glad you think so too. It's truly a treasure to our family and I'm happy to get the chance to share it with you and my other readers.

      Thank you so much for stopping by!

      Delete
  6. What a wonderful treasure, Jana! I'm so glad you shared this. I'm looking for information about where my g-g-grandfather, Gilbert Oliver Lee, obtained his dental degree. He traveled with his family from Kentucky to Albany, MO, in the early 1890's. When they returned to KY a few years later, he started his dental practice first in Louisville and later in nearby La Grange. I will certainly investigate Western Dental College! Thanks so much for the possible clue and for the very interesting story and photos. I LOVE the dental boat--and the photo boat!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Beth,

      I'm so glad my blog post may have provided a clue to where your g-g-grandfather may have obtained his dental degree. That's very exciting! I hope you find out where he went to college.

      Thanks so much for reading and for your kind comments!

      Delete
  7. Hooray! Flip Pal to the rescue again!

    Jana, what a wonderful keepsake of your great-grandfather. Are you going to frame it? It's amazing how it's in such good shape now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jacqi,

      Yep! I love my Flip-pal. It's so awesome! Regarding what I'm going to do with the degree, I'm not sure yet. Because it's been rolled up so long, I wonder if it would be better to store it in that way or not. I'll have to check on that further. It would be wonderful if I could frame it though. :)

      Thanks so much for stopping by! I really do appreciate it!

      Delete
  8. I think I figured out 2: Geo (short for George) Halley and C.F. Wainwright.

    Are you thinking the tube was designed specifically to hold the diploma?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Wendy,

      Ding! Ding! Ding! I think you won the prize! I'm thinking your guesses at the names are right on target! I really couldn't figure out that Wainwright name, but now that you mention it, it DOES look like it could be Wainwright. So, I'm going to fix both of those names in my post. Thank you Wendy!

      And as for the tube goes, I really don't know if it was just a metal tube they bought that happened to fit the diploma, or if it was made specifically for that purpose. Oh, if only my Grandpa Debs' were still here so I could ask him.

      Thanks so much for stopping by and for solving part of the signature puzzle for me.

      Delete
  9. Well that was a nice surprise. I have my mothers nursing certificate but it is no where near as old at that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Bill,

      Yes, this was a very nice surprise indeed! And I think it's wonderful that you have your mother's nursing certificate. That's awesome!

      Thank you so much for stopping by!

      Delete
  10. You must have done a genealogical happy dance when you first saw your great-grandfather's diploma, Jana! To think that it was kept safely 'hidden' all these years, as if waiting for you to discover it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Yvonne,

      Oh yes! This gem of a find was very much deserving of a genealogy happy dance or two!

      And yes, it was safely "hidden" unfortunately. I wish my Grandpa Debs had shown it to us before he passed away so we could have asked him questions about this and many other family history puzzles.

      Thank you so much for reading and for your kind comments!

      Delete
  11. Cool! Maybe the metal tube helped to preserve the document, or maybe the waxed paper played a part? I have letters that old that were just preserved in a box, so far (though I'm archiving them now), so maybe the kind of paper info is written on makes a difference. Great find!

    What does the Spanish on the dental boat say? (Yes, I too love the idea of a dental boat.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Mariann,

      I'm not really sure if the waxed paper or the metal tube helped to preserve the document. Those are good questions.

      Unfortunately, I don't know what the writing on the photo says. I'm wondering if it is a mix of Spanish and Portuguese though.

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

      Delete
  12. Replies
    1. Hi Smadar,

      It really is a treasure for sure! It's just so amazing that our family has this precious document.

      Thank you so much for stopping by!

      Delete
  13. Replies
    1. Hi Cheri,

      It's so exciting to share this wonderful family heirloom with my amazing readers. Thank you so much for reading and for your comment. I really appreciate it.

      Delete
  14. Wow, VERY cool! And in such beautiful condition. I would get it framed if you can so you and your family can enjoy it. When I had my 100+ document restored, it had been folded for years with scotch tape on the back. So I'm sure someone could flatten it out so you could get it framed. But no matter what you decide to do with it, it surely is a treasure!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Debi,

      I know! It really is in amazing condition for how old it is. And I think framing it would be fun. I'm not sure where to go to have this document safely flattened and framed though. I'll need to do some research on this.

      Thank you so much for reading and for your comments. I really do appreciate.

      Delete
    2. Here's where I went, Jana. I'm sure you could send it to them but if you'd rather not risk that(which I would probably not want to do), they might be able to recommend some place closer to you. http://phoenixartrestoration.com

      Delete
    3. Thanks for the info. Debi! Yes, I'm with you on not wanting to send this precious document somewhere far away. I'll have to see what I can find closer to where I live.

      Thanks again!

      Delete
  15. Fantastic find, Jana. How wonderful to have such a great document, plus the photos showing his work as well. I visualize a small collage of document with photos on one side... Enjoy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Celia,

      I do feel very blessed to have documents PLUS photos from Great-Grandpa Fred's life. And what a great idea to do a collage! Thanks for this fun idea!

      Thank you for reading and for your comments!

      Delete
  16. Wow! It is thrilling to hold something that old and precious to your family. I hope you will let us know what you decide to do with it. That was one of the first things I thought about.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kathy,

      Oh yes, it was absolutely thrilling to hold this 116+ year old document in my hands. And how to best preserve it is a very important next step. Great idea to write up a follow-up blog post about that.

      Thank you so much for stopping by! I really do appreciate it!

      Delete
  17. Reading your post and the comments was a real treat. I can't even imagine your reaction when you opened the tube, nothing could have been better than what was in it. And, I'm also going to buy a Flip-Pal, finally, after all these years, because of the diploma you scanned with it. Very nice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Barbara,

      It really was unbelievable to open that tube and find that old document inside. I'm so thankful to my Grandpa Debs for keeping it all these years.

      I hope you enjoy the Flip-Pal! The stitch software is amazing. I really am glad to own one. My mom gave it to me for my birthday gift last year. (Thanks mom!)

      Thanks Barbara for reading and for your comments! I really apreciate it!

      Delete
  18. Hi Jana, I found your post through Heather Roelker's Favorite Finds for this week. What a fun surprise for you to find the diploma stored in the tube! I think this would have to be a definite highlight in your genealogy research thus far. In regards to framing the diploma...since it's been stored so long rolled up and the original doesn't need to be exposed to light constantly as it can cause it to fade, why not print out a copy of your scan of the diploma and have it framed? Enjoyed your post -finding treasures like this are what make genealogy research so fun and exciting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Queen Bee,

      Oh yes, finding this diploma was definitely a very exciting discovery!

      Oooh, I love your idea about keeping the original diploma stored away and framing a copy. Brilliant! I would definitely NOT want this precious document to fade with exposure to light. Thank you so much for this idea!

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read and for your wonderful comments!

      Delete
  19. Wow ... what a wonderful treasure, Jana! I also immediately thought of how nice it would be to have it framed but also of the risks involved with that. I hope you are able to come up with a good solution. Thanks so much for sharing your mystery and revealed treasure with us ....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Laura,

      Thanks! Yes indeed, this is truly a family history treasure! I really like Queen Bee's suggestion to keep the original safely stored and if I choose to frame it then to frame a copy instead.

      Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by!

      Delete
  20. Fantastic find. I didn't know the DDS designation was that old!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Michelle,

      I didn't either! Isn't family history a great way to learn new things?

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

      Delete
  21. Congratulations, Jana! What a wonderful discovery for you. I love reading about the dental boat! ~ Jen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jen,

      Thanks! And yes, Great-Grandpa's dental boat is quite interesting. I never knew such a thing existed in history until seeing these photos.

      Thanks so much for taking the time to read my post and for your comments!

      Delete
  22. I am so behind! I can't believe that I missed the big reveal! It's a terrific find for you and your family and that document is in such great condition. How wonderful! Jana, I am so glad that you also transcribed the signatures as well - when I sent a local historian a copy of my great grandfather's Declaration and Final Oath for Naturalization papers, he found it interesting that the one witness was the major of the town. I had no idea, of course, but thought it was pretty cool!

    Thanks for sharing - it's as if I was opening it with you!

    Wendy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Wendy,

      I'm so glad you stopped by and shared in my excitement at finding this amazing document. And yes, it's in surprisingly good condition for being 116+ years old!

      Okay, now Im curious about why you sent your great-grandfather's Naturalization Papers to a local historian. It's cool that the mayor of the town was one of the witnesses.

      Thanks again for stopping by!

      Delete
    2. Hi Jana,

      Sorry - I didn't get a notification you replied. :(

      I sent a COPY (sorry for not being clear) to a local historican because he was writing a book about a now ghost town, where my grandfather was born.

      Wendy

      Delete
    3. Hi Wendy,

      Wow, that's really cool!

      And on a side note, I wish Blogger had an option for readers and commenters to be notified of follow-up comments like other blog platforms.

      Delete

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