Each January, during our annual Installation Ceremony, the retiring president of the Corydon Palmer Dental Society literally “hands over the gavel” of leadership to the incoming president.
This is no ordinary gavel. Our meetings are “rapped” to order by a marble gavel, hand-engraved for us by the late Dr. David Liddle, a dedicated member and an avid student of dental history.
Our gavel, in which the engraved lettering “3-10-1913 CPDS,” our founding year, is filled in with molten gold, was the second gavel to be personalized by Dr. Liddle, who practiced out of an office in the former Union Savings & Trust building in downtown Warren and was a member of the Warren Dental Society and, as were many members of the group, also a member of the Corydon Palmer Dental Society.
Dr. Liddle was the first orthodontist to graduate from the University of Pittsburgh School of Dentistry, in 1920. In 1957, Dr. Anthony Antolini, “fresh from the Navy,” hung out his shingle in Warren and joined the Warren group. He remembers meeting Dr. Liddle, who was at the time working on engraving a marble gavel for that society. Dr. Liddle had an amazing manual technique, his contemporaries remember, and he filled in the engraved portions of his gavel with molten gold dental wire. The date on that gavel is very worn, but is likely 1925.
It was suggested to Dr. Liddle that he might like to make a similar gavel for the Corydon Palmer group, which was the comprehensive society representing Trumbull, Mahoning and Columbiana counties dentists. He agreed, and the finished new gavel soon came into our hands.
When the Warren group dissolved, the original gavel was given for safekeeping to Dr. Bernard Dusza; after his passing, his wife presented it to Dr. Antolini to give to our group. So we now have the distinct honor of preserving both pieces for posterity!