MASO History

A Brief History Regarding the Founding of the Middle Atlantic Society of Orthodontists

The following information was taken from “The American Association of Orthodontists: The biography of a specialty organization” by Wilber Morse Shankland, published by the American Association of Orthodontists, St. Louis, 1971.

The “American Society of Orthodontists” was formed in St. Louis in June, 1901 by Edward H. Angle and the faculty and Class of 1900 of Angle’s school of orthodontia. One of the objectives of the society was to establish orthodontics as a distinct dental specialty. In 1906, primarily as a result of the extraction controversy, Angle, his students and teachers resolved to continue as an organization but no longer as a part of the American Society of Orthodontists. They formed a new body, the Alumni Society of the Angle School of Orthodontia which published the first journal devoted exclusively to orthodontics, the American Orthodontist. The future course of the Alumni Society somewhat paralleled that of the American Society of Orthodontists, but after a stormy session held in 1913 in New London, Connecticut, the Alumni body ceased to exist.

As the spinoff pattern developed, other aspects of regionalism appeared. In 1909 some 15 charter members formed the Eastern Association of Graduates of the Angle School of Orthodontia. Its goals were similar to the American Society with the added value of enhancing the welfare of the alumni of the Angle School and its Alumni Society. The Angle school was discontinued in 1911 and the Society disbanded in 1913. The successor body continued to meet actively until 1939 when it was discontinued.

Many societies, including the American and Southern Societies of Orthodontists, the Eastern Association of Graduates of the Angle School of Orthodontia, and other local dental bodies associated with various proprietary schools or regional groups of orthodontists existed during the early 1900’s. The pattern of geographical divisions was picked up by the Eastern Association of Graduates of the Angle school which, like the former Alumni Society, drew together all the Angle graduates east of Chicago and from the Gulf of Mexico to Canada. With this large geographic expansion, totaling 66 members in all, it was thought advisable to concentrate on one annual meeting of a few days duration. Additional groups began to form as sectional societies within the larger whole.

A very short-lived International Society of Orthodontists was formed in St. Louis in 1907. It was sponsored by the faculty and graduates of the International School Orthodontia, an education-venture representing a splinter body of rebels against Angle’s dominance of the local area.

In 1937 the American Society of Orthodontists was reorganized and became the American Association of Orthodontists. At this time membership was as follows: New York Society 167 members, Southern 59, Southwestern 52, Central 76, Great Lakes 58, Rocky Mountain 16, Pacific Coast 86, and Independent 71. With the subsidiary alignments largely stabilized, the administrative body of the AAO was renamed the Board of Directors (formerly the Executive Council) which was assisted by the usual line of staff and elected executive officers. The Eastern Association of Angle Graduates disbanded about the time the American Society of Orthodontists was reorganizing. There was a general feeling at this time that the idea of component societies was fundamentally good in spite of the concerns held by some that the New York group would numerically dominate the AAO.

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Middle Atlantic Society of Orthodontists
17 South High Street, Suite 200
Columbus, OH 43215
Toll Free (866) 748-6276
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E-mail: maso@assnoffices.com