Please enter both an email address and a password.

Welcome to the RCS website. If you do not know your login details, please reset your password using the link below.

Account login

Need to reset your password?  Enter the email address which you used to register on this site (or your membership/contact number) and we'll email you a link to reset it. You must complete the process within 2hrs of receiving the link.

We've sent you an email

An email has been sent to Simply follow the link provided in the email to reset your password. If you can't find the email please check your junk or spam folder and add no-reply@rcseng.ac.uk to your address book.

Sir John Tomes Display

05 May 2015

Steffi Sams

Charles Tomes Lecture exhibitionAt the Charles Tomes Lecture on 27 March, organised by the Faculty of Dental Surgery, we displayed items from the Museums, Archives and Library collections to celebrate the bicentenary of Charles Tomes’ father, Sir John Tomes.

Sir John Tomes: forcepsTomes was one of the first to realise that the extraction of a specific tooth required forceps shaped precisely to accommodate that tooth’s shape. He worked in partnership with the instrument maker Jean Evrard (1808-1882). These forceps were the forerunners of modern instruments and eventually replaced older designs. We displayed a set of forceps, each individually designed to remove a specific type of tooth.

Sir John Tomes: On the Construction and Application of Forceps for Extracting TeethComplementing the instrument display was one of the Library tracts, “On the Construction and Application of Forceps for Extracting Teeth” from the London Medical Gazette of 4 June 1841 – republished in 1843. In 1843 Tomes "found it necessary, for self-defence" to reprint his article, due to a publication by another dental surgeon, which was "but a repetition of the matter related in that communication, repeated, however, without acknowledgement". Apparently, some of the forceps Tomes had designed in collaboration with his instrument maker were subsequently copied and the design claimed to be the invention of another dentist, forcing Tomes to challenge their "assumed originality".

Sir John Tomes: gavel and caseAmongst other items on display were a gavel and case made from the wainscot (wooden panelling) from the surgery of Sir John and Sir Charles Tomes at 37 Cavendish Square, London, and a set of rough sketches, which formed the basis for Tomes’ illustrations in Dental Physiology and Surgery. These drawings appear to have been wrapped around the teeth depicted, which were given to the College, and the paper later flattened out.

Sir John Tomes: rough sketches

The current exhibition in the Library is dedicated to Sir John Tomes and the display will be on view until June.

Steffi Sams, Information Services Manager

Join the discussion

Add your comments to the site using Disqus.

Sign up below by adding a name, email address and password (click on the Discussion box to reveal the 'Name' field). Or log in using your social media profile.

After signing up, you can start commenting and won't have to log in to Disqus again - you don't even need to log in to your RCS account.

Share this page: