Basil Manly Wilkerson an 1868 graduate of the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery, was a prominent dental inventor of the 19th century. Among his inventions was the first hydraulic dental chair.
In the 1882 edition of Codman & Shurtleff’s catalogue, the chair is referred to as showing great originality… all cranks are dispensed with and levers substituted for them. The chair was raised by a foot lever and requires very little effort, takes only eight seconds…. lowered by another lever it sinks rapidly and noiselessly.

If your a collector of early dental furniture than you already know how inportant and rare this chair is. It’s one of the earliest examples of the Wilkerson Dental Chair. It was a milestone of early technology and the first hydraulic driven mechinical chair. This is one of their most decorative examples. There are 4 legs with lions paw feet and a filigree back plate. The seat, back and arms have been faithfully restored using the correct burgundy plush fabric. All the painted cast iron parts have not been touched. What you see is the original paint and gold decorative pin striping. This chair sat on display in an important collection for almost 60 years. Note the original mahogany arm rests are there as well. All the tilts and adjustments work smoothly. The up and down mechanisem works but can stick if pumped to it highest point. You just don’t find examples this nice. It’s also as comfortable as it gets… $3200