Merry's Dental Drill


Charles Merry, a dentist in St. Louis who devised a hand drill for operating on cavities in difficult situations, explained that he did not seek a patent but gave his invention freely to the profession. The form was sometimes termed a Universal Spiral Spring Drill. In this example, one handle is ebony and one is ivory. See illustration and account of Merry's drill stock in Dental Register of the West 12 (Sept. 1858): 110. Dr. Merry took his life in 1859.

Location: Currently not on view

See more items in: Medicine and Science: Medicine


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Gift of University of Pennsylvania School of Dentistry

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: MG.M-08463Catalog Number: M-08463Accession Number: 218383

Object Name: Drill, Merry'sdrill, mechanicaldental instrumentOther Terms: Drill, Merry's; Dentistry

Measurements: overall: 3/8 in x 5 7/8 in x 1 1/8 in; .9525 cm x 14.9225 cm x 2.8575 cm


Record Id: nmah_725404

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.