Apparatus for melting and casting dental gold, 'Jelenko Electric Thermotrol', from the dental practice of Gordon Frederick Young, Newtown, NSW, manufactured in USA, 1945.
In 1989 many items from the dental practice of Gordon Frederick Young were donated to the Powerhouse Museum. This object is part of that collection (89/613 - 89/637).
The dental practice was located at 113-117 King Street, Newtown. When it closed in the 1980s it was believed to have been the oldest continuous practice in NSW. It had been founded in the very early 1900s by Joshua Clarence Everingham and was a thriving, busy establishment with many dentists working there. In 1946 one of these dentists, Gordon Young, bought the practice.
The number of dentists working at King Street varied, but from 1941 but there were usually three. Each dentist had two surgeries operating at once, and each had two assistants. There was a trained nurse in the extraction room, two women who worked in the office, and three laboratory technicians in the large laboratory upstairs, where dentures, gold inlays and orthodontic devices were made.
Whenever possible Gordon Young, along with his colleagues, practised what was known as 'restorative' or 'conservative' dentistry and he specialised in gold inlays. In fact he became known as 'the inlay king'.
Dentistry saw huge changes through the 20th century. Gordon Young, in his 50 year career, not only witnessed many of these changes but was actively involved in bringing about and implementing changes in dental practice, dental politics, and training for ancillary dental workers. His was a strong personality, but he was a perfectionist and highly skilled craftsman with a deep concern for his patients' health.
These notes are based on an honours thesis written by Marcelle Jacobs in 1989. A copy of the thesis is available at the Research Library of the Powerhouse Museum. Marcelle Jacobs interviewed a number of people who had worked with Gordon Young or had been a patient. She was able build a picture of Gordon Young and the dental practice at 113-117 King Street, Newtown, and to place this within the context of the changing approaches to dental hygiene that occurred during the 20th century. The collection preserved by the Powerhouse Museum provides material evidence of the significant Everingham-Young dental practice.
Jacobs, Marcelle, 'Dentistry in Australia: focus on Gordon Frederick Young, 113-117 King Street, Newtown, Sydney, 1930-1986', an oral history project for the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences' Gordon Young Dental Collection, as part of a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) programme with the School of Science and Technology Studies, University of New South Wales, 23 November 1989 (unpubl.).