That dental drill illustrates nicely how things have changed. Thanks to just about everyone under the age of 50 or having been exposed to fluoride in infancy and childhood, quite a few people have to ask me what it is. Older adults recognize it and shudder; people under the age of 40 generally have never seen one in use. Although seeing one in use wasn't nearly as hideous an experience as hearing the dental drill. . . even if it didn't last long, there was something profoundly strange about hearing something happening inside your own head.
The Dr. Guy Collection consists of basically the entire contents of Dr. Louis Guy's dental office minus the chair and a few other odds and ends. Dr. Guy opened his dental practice in L'Anse in the 1930's. I'm not sure when he retired from dentistry, but he died in 1998. At some point, the contents of his office went to the historical society. Most of it has yet to be cataloged. There's so much stuff in the display case I'm not anxious to get started on it. I have begun sorting through the boxes of other stuff, things that did not make it into the display case, and jettisoning things that aren't worth keeping. I have, for example, pitched out most of the impressions (plaster casts of people's mouths) that came with the collection. It's good to have a few as examples, but we really didn't need to hang on to several hundred of them.
We have been slowly updating labels and doing more signage in general, but it's a slow process. Compared to some of the other issues we've dealt with lately, labels seem fairly low priority.
But, getting back to the subject of only one visitor, back when I first started volunteering, I suggested that the museum be open on Saturdays. It just seemed like commonsense. Saturday is a day when tourists are more likely to be around as well as local people with a day off. It was a day people had for leisure, for spending time with the grandkids, whatever. Well, after multiple summers I'm thinking I was wrong. Saturdays are dead. The busy day at the museum tends to be Friday. I'm not sure why that would be true, but the numbers don't lie. Lots of Saturdays over the past several summers with zero visitors, not a soul, no one, not even someone stopping in for directions or to use the restroom. Our busy day tends to be Friday. Strikes me as a bit odd, but Saturdays in general have been so slow that I'm going to suggest that we not bother with them next year.