Odds and Ends From The MUSEUM!
By Trudy Wyman, Curator, Millinocket Society Museum
A long list of physicians, dentists and other medical providers have practiced in Millinocket. The Old Town Enterprise of April 10, 1924 highlights some who saw patients in town. Dr. Ernest Harrigan, dentist, came to town in 1918 after graduating from Tufts. He had dental experience during WWI at the military camps in New Jersey and Ft. Devens. His Millinocket office boasted that it was “modernly equipped with the latest approved appliances including a gas and oxygen machine, so that the most difficult work may be accomplished with the least amount of pain. Dr. Harrigan is most careful in all his work and his ever-increasing list of patients is ample proof of the satisfaction of his services.”
Another dentist practicing in town in 1924 was Dr. E. H. Brown. A Tufts graduate, Dr. Brown came to Millinocket in 1923. His office is described as “strictly modern, equipped with a well-arranged laboratory and the very latest appointments.” Dr. Brown had quickly built a satisfactory practice and “takes a great deal of interest in his profession.”
It is probable that these two dentists had their offices on the second floor of one of the Penobscot Avenue buildings as that was the usual for the time.
In the same time period, a Mr. Sleight, an optometrist, practiced in town, The 1924 article states “Mr. Sleight grinds his own lenses having his own grinder which operates by electricity. If you are having trouble with your eyes, which may be caused from headache or eye strain, it behooves you to have your eyes examined and enjoy the satisfaction and comfort of a perfect adjustment of glasses.” The museum has a pair of eyeglasses from this doctor.
The museum has a quite large and growing collection of medical-related artifacts and ephemera and the collection keeps growing. One of the latest additions is the glass medical instrument cabinet from GNP donated by Dr. Ronald Blum, former GNP doctor. That cabinet, along with another, currently displays various medicine bottles and instruments used by various Millinocket doctors and dentists including Dr. Gilman. There are dental tools from the office of Dr. William Leslie Frost. The museum has the black medical bag of the town’s first doctor, Dr. Ryan, and the baby weigh scale of Dr. Young (neither currently displayed).