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Sindecuse Museum

Daisy McGuire

McGuire observes an instructor giving nitrous oxide.

McGuire, left, observes an instructor giving nitrous oxide gas to a patient before an extraction. Photo courtesy of the Family of Daisy Z. McGuire.

Daisy Zachary McGuire (1880-1980)
DDS 1908 Southern Dental College

Doll-Baby

Although Daisy McGuire’s dental classmates gave her the nickname Doll-Baby, they admired her skills and her pluck. “I was the smartest one in the class. What the other students were just learning, I’d been doing for the past five years.” She grew up helping her dentist father with patients, pulling her first tooth at age six.

A Kick in the Pants

When the North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners told McGuire she must go to school or quit dentistry, she went to Southern Dental College in Atlanta, graduating with honors in 1908. McGuire was the only woman in her class of 64 students.

Practicing Dentistry Outside

Before getting her degree, McGuire travelled by horse and buggy, staying in homes while treating the families. She vulcanized dentures on the stove or fireplace. After graduation, McGuire moved to Sylva, North Carolina at the town’s request. McGuires are still providing dental care there more than 100 years later.

Separate and Equal

McGuire convinced her husband Wayne, a carpenter, to become a dentist as she needed help in her office. He also went to Southern Dental College, graduating in 1913. Daisy and Wayne McGuire practiced in the same room their entire professional lives, but they kept separate patients.

All in the Family

All three of the McGuire’s children became dentists. Two daughters married dentists, and the third married a dental lab technician. They all worked together in the same office. Grandchildren followed in their footsteps. Of the entire family (pictured), only one took another path and became a teacher. 

 

Daisy McGuire practicing dentistry outside.

Daisy McGuire practicing outside with foot-pedal dental engine, early 1900s.  The foot-pedal engine would have been relatively easy to transport in her buggy, and was standard dental office equipment at the time. Photo courtesy of the Family of Daisy Z. McGuire. Click to view larger.

Pickling pan, spirit lamp and ladle for melting amalgam and gold.

Daisy used this spirit lamp (center) and melting ladle (right) for melting amalgam and gold. The pickling pan (left) used acids to remove impurities from gold. Photo courtesy of the Family of Daisy Z. McGuire. Click to view larger.

Daisy McGuire and her husband, Wayne, in their dental office

Dr. Daisy and Dr. Wayne in their 1976 dental office. Photo courtesy of the Family of Daisy Z. McGuire. Click to view larger.

McGuire family photo

Daisy McGuire with her husband, children and grandchildren. Photo courtesy of the Family of Daisy Z. McGuire. Click to view larger.