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Our History

1837-1866—The early years

  • 1837

    Otis Converse White is born in Millbury, Massachusetts to Cyrus and Saphronia White.

  • 1850s

    O.C. White goes to Philadelphia to study dentistry. The city is a hub of technological innovation and home to brothers James W. White and Samuel S. White, pioneering dentists. In addition to running the Pennsylvania College of Dental Surgery (est. 1853), they own a successful business, S.S. White Dental Manufacturing Company (est. 1844). Their chief product is porcelain false teeth, but the business regularly patents new inventions to be used in dentistry. Based in Philadelphia, the company has offices around the world, including in Boston. It is likely Otis attended the White brothers’ school.

  • 1857

    O.C. White returns to Hopkinton, Massachusetts to become a dentist. He, too, begins inventing a series of tools to help him in his work.

  • 1866

    On Tuesday, October 30, during the Connecticut Valley Dental Association’s fourth annual meeting in Springfield, Massachusetts, O.C. White presents his first product, an improved headrest for a dentist’s chair. Minutes from that meeting indicate it “was generally approved.”