Eastman Institute for Oral Health, earlier known as the Rochester Dental Dispensary, was the first dental clinic to be funded by Mr. George Eastman. However, Mr. Eastman was so pleased with the Dispensary’s work that he helped fund five other clinics in Europe in the cities of London, Rome, Brussels, Stockholm and Paris, to provide dental care for children. From 1929 to 1937, Dr. Burkhart, the Dispensary’s director, represented Mr. Eastman in official visits to establish the clinics and was present at each dedication. Many of these clinics, which were the first of their kind, are still active today.
Eastmaninstitutet, which was dedicated in 1936, is located in Vasastaden, Stockholm, Sweden. Like the Rochester dispensary, the Institutet had a dental hygiene school.
The London Institute, now University College London (UCL) Eastman Dental Institute, is now the largest postgraduate dental academic centre in Europe, and known for dental education, research, and clinical care. You can read more about The Eastman’s history in this 2007 British Dental Journal article
Here’s a 1923 announcement in San Jose News about the Rome clinic, courtesy of Google. Premier Benito Mussolini was present at the dedication in 1933. The Eastman Dental Hospital of Rome is currently the largest dental center in Italy.
The Brussels clinic stopped treating patients in the ’80’s, and is in the process of becoming a museum for European history.
Below are a few photographs of the Paris clinic. Want to know more? Visit our online exhibit on Eastman’s European Dental Clinics Print materials are preserved in EIOH’s Bibby Archives.
Several children read while sitting in the children’s waiting room at l’Institut George Eastman in Paris, France. The large boxlike structure in the background is a birdcage, or “atrium.” Atriums were a prominent feature in all of the children’s waiting rooms at the Eastman dental clinics.