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PDM Women's History

James Truman's Letter, 1893

Dr. James Truman* was known as the "Father of Dentistry" in the US, per his obituary, and not so well known or appreciated for his work to help women gain admission to dental schools. His biography in a history* of Penn from 1901 makes no mention of what is arguably one of his greatest contributions to dentistry.

Below is his account of the personal and professional trial he went through to do the right thing. He notably and humbly apologizes for having to write the account in the first person. The complete letter is in the archives.

Fun aside: may have been the first dentist to achieve teeth whitening and he taught Doc Holliday.

Snippet of James Truman's 1983 Letter, "As far as I am aware no one had seemed to regard dental practice as possible from women…With my observation and experiences I found it impossible to agree with this view..”


Continuation of James Truman's 1983 Letter

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