A Scrap Book of Dental Informalities

Herbert Ely Williams, D.D.S.
Price $3.00
Schuyler Press, Asbury Park, N. J.
We have just received for review, probably one of the most unusual and interesting dental books ever to be published. A Scrap Book of Dental Informalities, by Herbert Ely Williams, D.D.S., The Sage of Red Bank, commonly and affectionately referred to as “Uncle Bert”, or “Uncle Herb”, or “Uncle Ely” is unusual in many respects.
The publishing of a book these days is a most difficult task, especially if it is unorthodox and different, for book publishers are wary of trying the unusual, yet discouragement from publishers did not stop Uncle Bert from accomplishing the thing he set out to do. Here’s a most interesting story of how the book came into being, followed by a review of its valuable reading matter.
After 44 years of gold foil fidelity, friends said; “Uncle Bert write a book”. He did. But manuscript went “in” and “out “ –mostly “out” to publishers who talked the universal language of “no”. Like this; “No Doctor, I’m sorry we can’t handle it, there are many other gold foil books now on the market. Besides, it’s not a text book –it’s too unorthodox.” Loyal friends said; “Is that so?” And meant it and proved it by sponsoring it. Since nine of ten books are financially “not so nutritious,” thoughtful folks and good losers can’t blame publishers –much or at all.
So thought came to write an everybody’s book, with a little of everything winding up with a gold foil section. Since records say that only 2 of 10 dentists are doing real well, it is hoped that this “bread and butter book” might make right nice, comfortable reading for an 80% audience. It’s nice too, to find out if anybody want a book before bothering printers to print book before it to mellow and mold on dusty shelves.
About a year ago a Connecticut yankee dentist and a few others said; “Uncle Bert there’s $3.00, now get your book out and autograph mine.” The country printer down Jersey way said; “You dentists don’t appear to have much sense about business and books.” “You’d better let me print you up some sponsor slips, to be mailed out and get your money in advance.” It was surprising that so many took a chance on something that hadn’t become what is was to be. So sure enough, enough prepaid cash came to Red Bank to run 2000 copies. Sentimentality just seeps through every page, where dedications are in profusion to individuals, dental societies and periodicals that have inspired a cause. Gratitude is due loyal advance trusters, only weight of whom objected to their names appearing in the book, to take due credit for their contribution in converting a dream’s dream into a receptive reality.
Dr. Williams himself has described the book thoroughly in the frontispiece with the words.
“With a little of this and that going from one thing to another, the contents of this book is no more rambling than dentistry itself with rapidly shifting scenes. Small mouthfuls, predigested and easily assimilated, technical indigestion in neutralized. The book is non-scientific, just plain, suburban thoughts, so light as to bounce right into one’s life.”
And so it is, just that.
A Scrap Book of Dental Informalities covers every phase of dental practice with terse practical statements concerning procedures that are proven by experience and observation. Each chapter is dedicated to same dental organization or individual who has contributed to the advancement of the profession. The book is concluded by a chapter on operative dentistry, well illustrated, and presenting the practical steps in gold foil operation.
A chapter of 300 original, inspirational epigrams sums up dentistry’s problems in an interesting and humorous manner.
This book is worthy of every dentist’s library and can be depended upon to furnish not only a fine review of dental practice but many hours of wholesome recreation.