In the days before veneered celebrities were the norm, Dr. W.W. Gates DDS operated a dental practice in Indianapolis, on the northeast corner of Washington and Pennsylvania Streets, approximately where the Pita Pit is now located.

Dr. Willard W. Gates, DDS, graduated a year before this ad was published in 1890 from the Indiana Dental College.  Born in Dublin, Indiana, near the the Ohio/Indiana border, Dr. Gates’ family moved to Indianapolis when he was five years old.  He attended school and was married in Indianapolis as well as opening a very successful dental practice.

He was described as a “thorough master of his art” who had “every new and improved appliance for making the extraction of teeth as easy and painless an operation as possible.”  Pictorial and Biographical Memoirs of Indianapolis and Marion County, 1896.

Considering the dental tools available at the time, that was likely quite a feat.