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1 MRS. J. LEON WILLIAMS 1943 - 1945 HANDWRITTEN MANUSCRIPT DIARY OF A STRONG, TENACIOUS, DETERMINED BRITISH WOMAN LIVING IN AMERICA AND DOING EVERYTHING IN HER POWER TO ASSIST THE WAR EFFORT - WIDOW OF WORLD FAMOUS INVENTOR, SCIENTIST AND DENTIST
AUGUSTA MAINE NEW YORK CITY ME NY 1943 Very Good Manuscript 
On offer is one of the finest World War II homefront diaries we have ever encountered. Mrs. Leon Williams of Augusta Maine and living at Concord Haven and the Augusta House using a largish, thick 1945 journal style page a day diary writes retrospectively of 1943 and 1944 and then 1945. Whether she is copying from older books and transferring the entries or writing from memory is not known but her writings are very detailed and specific. It is also uncertain if she was born in America or England [though we do believe she is British by birth], what is known is that she is a staunch lover of both countries, relishing in the determination of the British against Germany and America's own battle against the Nazis. She sews for British children, knits socks for soldiers, attends bond drives and quarrels with those that treat the war effort too lightly especially those who do not have their sons or daughters fighting the Germans as her own son Peter was doing. Widowed in the mid 1930s her husband was an important inventor and scientist in dental practice and the Williams family traced its roots back to Revolutionary times. See the biographical notes. Mrs. Williams has had a sensational life: In 1890 she took a trip to New Zealand. She has lived in Australia and adores the country. In 1910 she left New York for England. In 1943 she was living in New York and then to Maine. She has recurring bouts with Malaria - 'the old bug'. We figure she is in her sixties as she mentions being required to retire from business. This is a singularly unique and formidable woman in the mould of a Margaret Thatcher. She has a tremendous moral compass and does not hold punches: 'They do not speak my language in Augusta. They know so little beyond trivial affairs…yet they are big bugs in their tiny world.' She has a number of problems with some Maine residents given how insulated from the War Maine is and the attitudes of some rile her to no end. She is on top of all the world news and the burden of the world's woes weigh on her. She records the numbers of dead in London Blitz, she records details on many areas of the war effort. She makes an oath that as long as the boys are in the trenches and waging war she will not sing or dance or attend parties. She detests the complainers and her entries regarding the death of Roosevelt are eye watering. She pays homage to FDR declaring him the greatest man that ever lived. Another emotional passage is her description of being in Egypt in 1901 when her beloved Queen Victoria dies and the toll it takes on her. BIO NOTES: James Leon Williams (April 18, 1852 - February 23, 1932) was an American prosthodontist and a pioneer dental histologist. He discovered dental plaque. In 1785, Leon's great-grandfather, Jacob Williams, a U.S. Army captain during the American Revolution, settled in Maine. A native of Massachusetts, he had a son, Richard, around the year 1794. On May 25, 1829, Richard had a son, Calvin, who would be Leon's father. Sometime around 1879, J. Leon Williams began a two-year apprenticeship by a Dr. Roberts in North Vassalboro, Maine and later began practicing in the same town. Williams later passed examinations for the DDS degree at the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery and the equivalent LDS degree in Ireland. He joined the Maine Dental Society and used the opportunity to borrow their microscope to study the histology and pathology of tooth enamel. In the early 1880s, common crown and bridge techniques were not well-known or widespread. Williams sought to make information on these techniques available to all dentists through the pages of The Dental Cosmos. In 1885, he embarked on a journey to improve the state of dental prostheses by designing more aesthetic artificial teeth that better matched the overall facial dimensions of the patient. He convinced an American artificial tooth manufacturer to take up his cause and produce his designs, on the condition that other dentists would embrace the new forms. Williams also practiced dentistry in London and was one of the founders of the International Association for Dental Research. Mrs. Williams writes almost daily until the summer and then she becomes sporadic. VG. 
Price: 2195.99 USD
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