Hoskins Electric Dental Furnace

Hoskins Electric Dental Furnace

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Description (Brief)
Electric furnace, 110 volts, with chromel-alumel heating element. Patented Feb. 6, 1906, July 9, 1907, July 30, 1907. "Developed by Albert L. Marsh in 1906, out of research aimed to develop a substitute for the expensive platinum thermocouple alloys then in use. Chromel is a nickle-chromium alloy and alumel is an alloy of nickel and aluminum. The use of the high-resistance chromel as a heating element was patented in 1906. March established the Hoskins Manufacturing Company for its manufacture in August 1908; [the company] moved to Detroit in 1909."
A metal tag reads "HOSKINS ELECTRIC DENTAL FURNACE, Pat. Feb. 6, 1906, July 9, 1907, July 30, 1907, 110 volts, 2½ amps., Manufactured by the Hoskins Co., Chicago."
William Hoskins (1862-1934) was an entrepreneurial inventor who established the Hoskins Company in Chicago in the early years of the twentieth century. The firm moved to Detroit in 1908, and later became Hoskins Manufacturing. Albert Leroy Marsh (1877-1944) was a metallurgist who, while working for Hoskins, developed a relatively inexpensive alloy suitable for making high-resistance wire that could be used in electric furnaces. In 1914, this alloy would be termed Chromel.
Ref: Ad for “The Hoskins Dental Furnace” in Dental Practice 3 (1907): xi.
Albert L. Marsh, “Electric Resistance Unit,” U.S. Patent 811,159 (Feb. 6, 1906), assigned to the Hoskins Co.
Albert L. Marsh, “Electric Resistance Element,” U. S. Patent 859,608 (July 9, 1907), assigned to the Hoskins Co.
Albert L. Marsh, “Electric Muffle-Furnace,” U.S. Patent 861,744 (July 30, 1907), assigned to the Hoskins Co.
“Albert L. Marsh,” New York Times (Sept. 19, 1944), p. 21.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Electric Furnace
date made
Hoskins Manufacturing Company
place made
United States: Illinois, Chicago
overall: 6 1/4 in x 5 1/2 in x 4 in; 15.875 cm x 13.97 cm x 10.16 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of Hoskins Manufacturing Company, through Mr. Leslie S. Morrison, Secretary and Treasurer
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Medicine and Science: Medicine
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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