Mace and torch on view at National Museum of Dentistry

April 12, 2010
Display from American College of Dentists on long-term loan to museum.

BALTIMORE, Maryland--The mace and torch of the American College of Dentists is now on display at the National Museum of Dentistry on long-term loan.

Assembled to preserve the historic symbols of the founding of the college, the exhibit features the gold-plated mace and torch that have been used in membership ceremonies for nearly 70 years, as well as an American College of Dentists' Fellowship pin, key, and rosette.

Also on view is the William J. Gies Award, which recognizes college Fellows who have made outstanding contributions to the advancement of the profession.

"We are honored to have the mace and torch on view at the National Museum of Dentistry," said American College of Dentists' Executive Director Dr. Stephen Ralls. "They represent an important historical link to key leaders of dentistry from the early 20th century onward."

The American College of Dentists is the oldest national honorary organization for dentists. It was founded to elevate the standards of dentistry, encourage graduate study, and grant Fellowship to those who have done meritorious work.

"The National Museum of Dentistry preserves and celebrates the history of the dental profession," said the museum's Executive Director Jonathan Landers. "This is the perfect place to showcase these fragile and magnificent historic symbols of such a respected organization in dentistry."

When the American College of Dentists was founded in 1920, a symbolic light--the torch--was designated to signify the role of the college as a source of enlightenment and guidance. The torch on view at the museum, made in 1939 by the Gorham Silver Company of Providence, R.I., served as a symbol of office.

The fluted staff, more than two feet long, is made of gold-plated bronze and decorated with ribbons engraved with the names of the founders of the American College of Dentists.

The large mace on view was also made in 1939 by the Gorham Silver. It is more than two feet long and made of gold plated bronze and silver. The base is adorned with faux amethysts, diamonds, and emeralds.

Crafted in the form of a caduceus symbolizing the medical professions, it includes the engraved names of 20 of the most eminent contributors to dentistry. The dome, with figures of two Egyptians holding the ends of an open scroll, is supported by depictions of 11 Egyptian scholars and a modern graduate.

For more information, call (410) 706-0600 or visit National Museum of Dentistry.

To read more about the National Museum of Dentistry, go to National Museum of Dentistry.

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