Exploring the history of Phoenix, Arizona and a little bit of Los Angeles and San Francisco, California.

Going to the dentist in old-time Phoenix


Hand me that bottle, will ya? My tooth is aching something fierce this morning. I hardly slept a wink last night.

What? No thank you, I'd rather not have you pull the tooth, although I appreciate your offer. Yes, I know you're the village blacksmith, and it would be over in a minute, but thank you kindly all the same. I'm thinking about going to the dentist. Yes, the dentist. Dentist - that's a doctor who specializes in teeth. Phoenix is getting more and more civilized all of the time. This isn't the dark ages, you know, this is 1892, almost the twentieth century!

I never used to have problems with my teeth, I must be getting old. Yes, I'm already seventeen. I guess this kind of thing happens in your old age. Here's your empty whiskey bottle back. I believe that I'll just sit here for a spell. No, I don't mind the smell, I've been around horses all of my life! I'm just going to close my eyes for a while, will you see if you can find a city directory? I expect they have one at the hotel.

Thank you! Hand me that directory, will you? Yes, I can read, at least a little. I think this word is "dentist", and besides there's that picture of some teeth. Where is it? I'm pretty sure it's across from the Commercial Hotel, in the Young Building. I've walked past it several times and I've seen people holding their jaws and moaning. That must be the place!

Here we are, and here's Dr. Hardy. Hello, doc! Will you take a look at my choppers? They's a-hurting mighty bad. Now, I don't have a lot of money, do you charge a lot? Well, that sounds reasonable. What? Eastern prices, that's great. So you're from Baltimore! What? The Baltimore College of Dental Surgery? Sounds good, it sure beats having my friend pull my tooth with his blacksmith tools!

This is so civilized, Phoenix is getting better all of the time. My breath? Well of course I've been self-medicating! This is 1892!

The Commercial Hotel was located on the northeast corner of Central and Washington, and was in Phoenix, as the Luhrs Hotel, until the 1970s.

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