Category: Dentistry

The MHC is on Twitter!

The Medical Heritage Center is now on Twitter! Follow us (@osumhc) for all the latest news and interesting historical facts. For the remainder of 2013, one tweet a week will be posted. In 2014 in support of the four health sciences colleges celebrating centennials, a daily Monday-Friday tweet will feature Medicine (origins trace back to 1834, but started under the umbrella of The Ohio State University in 1914) on Mondays, Nursing on Tuesdays, Dentistry (origins trace back to 1890, but like medicine started in 1914 under the umbrella of OSU) on Wednesdays, Optometry on Thursdays, and the MHC on Fridays.

Centennials and Timeline of Medical Education in Central Ohio

2014 marks 100 years of health sciences education on the Columbus campus of The Ohio State University. This education includes colleges of nursing, optometry, dentistry, and medicine.

The College of Medicine legacy really began in 1834, however. Below is a Timeline of Medical Education in Central Ohio.

Willoughby University of Lake Erie, 1834-1846

 1834: Dr. George W. Card and Dr. John M. Henderson found Willoughby University of Lake Erie in honor of their friend Dr. Westel Willoughby. Drs. Card and Henderson believed Willoughby’s name would give prestige to the university and would aid in securing teachers and students.

Willoughby University operates in Willoughby, Ohio until 1846. Willoughby Medical University of Lake Erie had approximately 618 graduates.


Willoughby Medical College of Columbus, 1847

 1846: Willoughby University moves to Columbus, Ohio and the name changes to Willoughby Medical College of Columbus.

The session of 1847-48 opened in Columbus under the name of the Willoughby Medical College of Columbus located in a building on the northwest corner of Gay and High Streets. The building is not adequate, but before the session was completed Mr. Lyne Starling, an attorney in Columbus and well connected with the older established families, offered to give money to erect a proper building. An entirely new charter was secured for the medical school, which, out of gratitude to the donor, was called Starling Medical College (SMC). Shortly after it has organized all of the trustees of the Willoughby Medical College of Columbus resigned in January 1848 and the class of 1848 was graduated under the charter of Starling Medical College. Willoughby Medical College of Columbus continued less than one complete session and had no graduates.


Starling Medical College, 1847-1907

 1847: Starling Medical College (SMC) replaces Willoughby Medical College as the majority of the trustees, faculty, and students connected with Willoughby Medical College moved to SMC. Starling Medical College is located in St. Francis Hospital in downtown Columbus. It operates until 1907.

In the year 1848 the college was rechartered under the name of Starling Medical College in honor of Mr. Lyne Starling, who donated a building site and $35,000 for a new building: about two-thirds of the building assigned to St. Francis Hospital. During the sixty years of its career under this name the college graduated 2,600 students.

 Columbus Medical College, 1876-1892

 1876: Columbus Medical College is established.

In 1875 a sharp dispute arose about making Dr. James Fairchild Baldwin professor of physiology in the Starling Medical College. Dr. Baldwin seemed to some of the faculty well-suited for the job, but Dr. Starling Loving and the administration thought otherwise. Dr. Howard Jones of Circleville was chosen. As a result of this defeat, Drs. John W. Hamilton, D. N. Kinsman, H. C. Pearce and Davis Halderman resigned and organized the Columbus Medical College. During the first seven years the college was conducted in the Sessions Block of High Street. In 1882 Dr. W. B. Hawkes gave four lots on Columbus’ west side and $10,000 toward a hospital to serve the Columbus Medical College. In 1886 the Hawkes Hospital of Mt. Carmel was erected.

About 500 students graduated from this college. In 1892, carrying with it its hospital facilities, Columbus Medical College was merged into Starling Medical College, but some of the faculty could not go along with the merger and joined Dr. J. F. Baldwin and others in the organization of the Ohio Medical University.

 Ohio Medical University, 1892-1907

 1892: Ohio Medical University (OMU) was founded. OMU was located on Park Street across from Goodale Park. It operates until 1907.

Coincident with the mergement of the Starling Medical College and the Columbus Medical College, the Ohio Medical University was organized, and from the first maintained a high place among the educational institutions of the State. It had colleges of medicine, dentistry and pharmacy, with a charter enabling it to establish a department of midwifery and a school for the training of nurses. From its inception the University adopted the recitation plan of instruction with modifications to suit the subject, and gave clinical work and laboratory exercises prominent places in its courses. Besides erecting large and spacious buildings for the several departments the university donated the ground upon which the Protestant Hospital Association erected a substantial hospital building; the hospital and university cooperating in promoting the welfare of each other. The university sent forth about 1,200 graduates.


Starling-Ohio Medical College, 1907-1914

 1907: Starling Medical College and Ohio Medical University merge and become Starling-Ohio Medical College (SOMC). SOMC operates until 1914.

During the winter of 1906 and 1907 the trustees of the Starling Medical College and of the Ohio Medical University, recognizing the great advantages that would accrue to the cause of education and to the entire medical profession by union and co-operation, transferred the property and equities of these two corporations to a Board of their own selection with power to incorporate a new college. This action was taken March 13, 1907, the name agreed upon, Starling-Ohio Medical College, being a happy combination of the names of the only medical colleges in central Ohio at the time of the union. The new corporation included a Medical College, a Dental College and a Pharmacy College, designated as Departments. There were 303 graduates while SOMC was in operation.


 The Ohio State University College of Medicine, 1914-Present

 1914: The Ohio State University College of Medicine begins.

Recognizing the great advantage that might accrue to the cause of medical education in Ohio and to the entire medical profession and citizenship through the establishment of a College of Medicine by the Ohio State University, the Trustees of the Starling-Ohio Medical College gave to the State of Ohio all its properties, both real and personal, for this purpose. The College of Medicine, therefore, began its career with an honorable history, with an alumni body of more than three thousand, and an established reputation and position. The buildings on the Ohio State University campus that comprised the medical school in 1914 were Hamilton Hall, Kinsman Hall and Starling-Loving University Hospital.

The College of Medicine, through its predecessors, ranks as the second oldest medical college in the state and incorporates all the best medical college interests in central Ohio. The College stands upon a foundation of six medical schools with a continuity of college life spanning 178 years.

Tooth Key

Tooth key
Metal and Wood
Circa 1820s
Artifact Collection, Gift of COSI, Medical Heritage Center

A tooth key also known as a dental key is an instrument that was used in dentistry to extract diseased teeth. Modeled after a door key, the tooth key was used by first inserting the instrument horizontally into the mouth, its claw tightened over a tooth and then rotated to loosen the tooth. The original design dating back to the 1700s featured a straight shaft, which caused it to exert pressure on the tooth next to the one being extracted. This led to a newer design in 1765 by Ferdinand Julius Leber where the shaft was slightly bent. The tooth key presented here is one of the newer designs with a slightly bent shaft.