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The Golden Years 1920-1959


1920 Model A Dental X-Ray

 

 

 

With the introduction of the first Dental Operating Unit in 1917, business continued to expand and in 1919 additions had to be constructed on the west side of the machine shop. A third floor was added over the offices.
      One of the greatest contributions to the dental profession by the Ritter Dental Company was the introduction in 1920 of the  Model A Dental X-Ray. This new improved tool gave the dental profession its most efficient instrument for diagnosing cases correctly. In order to adapt the machine for use with the various voltages and frequencies of the time, two separate groups of transformers were used.
      Both patient and operator had to stay further than 12 inches from the high voltage wire which ran outside the arm from the transformer cabinet to the x-ray head. 

 

Perfected, and with the earlier limitations removed, the Ritter Model B Shock Proof X-Ray was developed in the 1930s. With its safety and accuracy improvements the Model B X-Ray assured perfect results. It replaced earlier guesswork with an exact radiographic technique. The flexible and easy to adjust x-ray head contributed immensely toward the efficiency and simplicity of operations. Standardizing techniques and fixed factors insured uniform radiographs of correct details and density.

Utilizing a new type of straight line focus tube and heavy-duty transformer, the greater output of x-ray energy available made possible not only intra and extra-oral examinations, but also enabled collaborative diagnosis with physicians pertaining to any bony structure of the body. Radiographs up to 14 x 17 inches were possible.


1930s Ritter Model B Shock Proof X-Ray

 

The Ritter Dental Company was proud of the fact that the dental profession had so wholeheartedly excepted the contribution which had been given them in the Ritter Model B Shock Proof X-Ray. This model was eventually replaced by the Model D in the 1950s .  It was the last of the Ritter oil filled  x-ray heads and the end of the Shock Proof X-Ray series.  Thousands of dentists throughout the world made their diagnosis more accurate and complete through the use of these x-ray units.


Ritter Model D Shock Proof X-Ray

 


1923 Pforzheim factory in Germany

 

Dentists in other countries were eager to purchase this new Ritter Dental equipment that was proving so invaluable to dentists in the United States, but due to higher manufacturing costs in the U.S. this made the price of the equipment prohibiting to them.


1923 Durlach factory in Germany

 

In 1923, exceeding to their demands, the Ritter Dental Company purchased two factories of Arnold Biber, located in Pforzheim and Durlach, Baden, Germany. Machinery was set up here to manufacture equipment identical to that made at the Rochester New York plant. At Pforzheim were manufactured dental instrument cabinets, while the other various dental operatory equipment was manufactured in the Durlach plant. 


The Ritter display room in Berlin, Germany

 

This equipment was sold throughout the world in Shanghai, Capetown, Melbourne, Rio de Janeiro, Calcutta, wherever progressive dentists were located. To promote the sales of the equipment manufactured in these two plants, sales offices were established and maintained in London, Paris and Berlin.

They  were similar in purpose and arrangements to their American counterparts in New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia, and San Francisco except in each case they had been adapted to the customs and desires of the nationalities they served. To them, came dentists and dental representatives from all over the world to learn of the newest achievements in the manufacturing of dental equipment.

 

The Tri-Dent Models B and C were floor mounted dental units introduced in the 1920s. The Tri-Dent Model B with its swinging type cuspidor, light and engine lathe were all mounted on a single pedestal. The Model C Tri-Dent had it's cuspidor mounted on a separate pedestal.


1920s The Tri-Dent Model B

The Model E Unit came out in the 1930s and was an updated version of the Model B, likewise the Model F Unit was an updated Model C. With these dental units the dentists had within his reach all the essentials: air, gas, water and electricity. The air and water appliances were under finger-tip control. The electrically operated instruments were shut off automatically when they were returned to their respective holders. This grouping of operating essentials in a single unit was pioneered by the Ritter Dental Company.


The 1930s Model E Unit

 

An electric motor was added to the Ritter Dental Chair in 1928. This was a radical improvement over the previous foot pump chairs.


1930s the Model B Motor Chair

 

Just prior to the historical stock market crash in 1929, the Ritter Dental Company entered the medical field.  This started with  the manufacturing of eye, ear, nose and throat equipment.

In the late 1930s the Model B Motor Chair was introduced. It was fast, smooth and quiet in operation. It could be raised hydraulically by the motor in 12 seconds over the full range, and lowered against hydraulic pressure at any desired regulated speed.

The Ritter Model A Sterilizer was put into production in 1931. Although the outward appearance of the sterilizer didn't change much over the years continued improvements were made to the models that followed. Model B came out in the mid 1930s, followed by Model C in 1937. These sterilizers required a minimal amount of attention. The Model C incorporated an automatic water supply, automatic pre-sterilizing of water, automatic water-level and automatic safety switch.


1930s Ritter Model B Sterilizer

 


1940s Ritter Model D Sterilizer

 


1937 Ritter Equipped Dental Office

 

1937 marked the golden anniversary "50 Years of Progress" for the Ritter Dental Manufacturing Company. In that year, dentists throughout the world could go through fully equipped dental suite's in which the dental environment was as it should be. In these display rooms, the dentist could find the needs for his own office and the placement for his own equipment for maximum efficiency. Whether he was just starting out in the professional world or had plans to expand his present suite, the Ritter display room offered him a visual, concrete example for the most efficient way of accomplishing it.


1937 The Ritter Dental Manufacturing Company at Ritter Park, Rochester, NY

 

By 1940, the field of medical equipment had grown to necessitate the establishment of a separate Medical Division. In addition to Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat Units, the line of medical equipment included Motor Chairs, Examination, Treatment and Surgery Tables, plus Electro Surgical, Diathermy and Basal Metabolism Units.

 

Following the introduction of these new items, World War II had begun and the Ritter Manufacturing Company was engaged in a vital war effort supplying the Armed Forces with dental equipment. In addition to regular dental and medical equipment, other wartime products were produced and provided to the U.S. Armed Forces.


1937 The Ritter Family at Rochester 

 

The Model E Unit came out in the 1930s and was an updated version of the Model B, likewise the Model F Unit was an updated Model C. With these dental units the dentists had within his reach all the essentials: air, gas, water and electricity. The air and water appliances were under finger-tip control. The electrically operated instruments were shut off automatically when they were returned to their respective holders. This grouping of operating essentials in a single unit was pioneered by the Ritter Dental Company.


1940s Ritter Model C Motor Chairs

In 1942 Ritter employees received a special award from the Army-Navy for "high achievement in the production of War equipment." A second star was awarded them in 1943.

With the end of the war the Ritter Manufacturing Company introduced other significant products. The Model E Unit with its patented warm water and warm air could deliver both directly to the patient. It was also equipped with a low voltage diagnostic instrument which, until that time, had been a separate piece of equipment.

In 1957 the Borden Airotor by Ritter came out, a revolutionary high speed Dental Handpiece. In that same year the Ritter Manufacturing Company added approximately 5,000 square feet to the existing factory for a completely conveyorized paint finishing department. Many of the equipment, assembly and production departments were rearranged for greater efficiency. The size of the Ritter factory at that time was approximately half a million square feet.

Also in 1957 the Ritter Company purchased the Liebel-Flarsheim Company of Cincinnati, Ohio, manufacturers of instruments and equipment for the medical profession.

In 1959 the Ritter Company acquired the assets of the Wilmot Castle Company. The Castle Company manufactured Sterilizers and Operating Lights for the dental, medical and hospital professions. In addition to conventional high pressure steam sterilizers, the Castle Company distributed low temperature ethylene-oxide gas Sterilizers, radiation Sterilizers and distillation apparatus to the pharmaceutical and allied industries.

1959 Model D Type 3

With the end of the 1950s the Ritter Manufacturing Company introduced two other revolutionary products.  The first was the Model D Euphorian Chair, with an entirely new dental seating concept.

The second was a redesigned x-ray unit the first being the Ritter Model E, soon to be followed by the Ritter Model F Century X-Ray.  Both of these models were radically different than the previous Shock Proof X-Ray series of the 1930s and '40s.  With its gas filled x-ray head and push button KVP selection the Ritter Dental  X-Ray had evolved.


1950s Model F X-Ray

If you would like to contribute additional history or product information regarding the Ritter Dental Company, please e-mail Rick Schrader
Rick@RitterDental.com

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