Flagg, Josiah Foster
- Charles W. Carey Jr.
Flagg, Josiah Foster (11 January 1789–20 December 1853), dentist and artist, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Josiah Flagg, Jr., the first dentist born in the United States; his mother’s maiden name was probably Foster. He is often confused with John Foster Brewster Flagg, his brother, and Joseph Foster Flagg, his nephew, both of whom also became prominent dentists. As a boy he displayed little interest in book learning and instead preferred farm chores and working with wood. At age sixteen he became an apprentice cabinetmaker and shortly thereafter developed an intense desire to obtain a scholastic education. After completing the course of study at an academy in Plainfield, Connecticut, in 1811 he began studying medicine with J. C. Warren, a Boston physician. During the next two years he designed the bone-forceps for cutting bone and removing the resultant fragments. He also carved the woodcut engravings of the pictures and diagrams that illustrate Warren’s ...