historical info

by Dr. George Bullock, 1997

Following the end of World War II, approximately 25 orthodontists were in the exclusive practice of orthodontics in the Philadelphia area. Under the leadership of Dr. John Valentine Mershon, they formed the Philadelphia, Society of Orthodontists. Their mission was to contribute better orthodontic health services to the resident of the Philadelphia area, to advance the art and science of orthodontics and to represent the specially of orthodontics in the Philadelphia area.

In the first year of the organization, at the grand are of 78, Dr. Mershon served ad the president. Dr. Mershon contributed fully to his chosen profession during his long and active career. He was a 1908 graduate of the Angle School of Orthodontics, served as president of the Northeastern Society of Orthodontists and eventually, the American Association of Orthodontists. It would take a span of 74 years until another member of our society would hold the office of president of the American Association of Orthodontists. Dr. Ronald Gross served our profession well in that capacity in 1994.

The formation of our organization was formally announced in the American Journal of Orthodontics and Oral Surgery in July 1945. Subsequently, the society has held an annual scientific meeting for over the last fifty years. We have been fortunate to have speakers of each era who have been luminaries in the filed or orthodontics and informed the members of the society about the most up to date clinical techniques and research.

In 1993, in recognition of the member of the society from Southern New Jersey and Delaware, the name of the society was changed to the Greater Philadelphia Society of Orthodontists. The number of orthodontists has grown form 25 in 1945 to nearly 440 orthodontists practicing in the Tri-State area in 1997. Currently, we have 125 dues paying members in this group, and in addition, we are fortunate to have the opportunity to share our annual continuing education meeting with students from the orthodontic programs at Temple University, University of Pennsylvania and Albert Einstein University.

The first historical meetings

more history first meetings & profiles