The unusual tale of two heros from separate professions, springing from the same family!
I refer to the two Glasgow-born Hunter brothers, William a celebrated physician and obstetrician, and John a dentist. Both made outstanding contributions to their respective professions but Johnâ€™s reputation eventually outstripped his brotherâ€™s.
Originally John came to London to work alongside his older brother William. Because he had not done an apprenticeship as a doctor, John could not establish a medical practice so he became a dentist.
He was the first person to attempt the transplant of a tooth, by implanting it into the comb of a cockerel. The implantation worked but was not successful when placed into a human jaw. It took another 200 years and the invention of the titanium implant for a replacement tooth to be successful.
To this day, however, the head of a cockerel is the emblem of the Board of the Faculty of Dental Surgery and appears on the Deanâ€™s ceremonial robe. Despite being the younger, John Hunterâ€™s name lives on in the Hunterian Museum at the Royal College of Surgeons of England, which houses his collection of human and animal specimens.