Collection & Research

Hours and Location

Ritter Dental Manufacturing Co. "Imperial Columbia" Dental Chair

Ritter Dental Manufacturing Co. "Imperial Columbia" Dental Chair

Current location:

Collection Storage Facility


This chair was used in Virgennes, Vermont. The Museum purchased the chair as part of a larger dentistry collection in 1980.

Technical history:

The back of this purpose-built dental chair folds down to be a child’s seat and the chair has a disk base rather than long wooden legs. Ritter chairs were the first to use hydraulic pressure to raise and lower the patient. These improvements made dentistry easier: the dentist no longer had to deal with tripping over chair legs or moving patients between chairs of different heights during an appointment. 


This Ritter “Imperial Columbia” chair made dentistry easier and more comfortable for both the patient and the dentist. Ritter dental chairs were famous in their time — one model was featured at the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago. Ritter dental chairs have been used all around the world — in Canada and the United States, and even as far away as Brazil, Australia, and China.

Canada Science and Technology Museum
Artifact No.
Ritter Dental Manufacturing Company
Manufacturer Location
Rochester, New York, United States
Manufacture Date
Acquisition Date