September 16


September 16, 1846 George Franklin Grant, pioneering dentist and inventor of the golf tee, was born in Oswego, New York. Grant graduated with honors from the Harvard School of Dentistry in 1870, the second African American to graduate from the school. He then became the first African American member of the Harvard faculty when he took a position in the Department of Mechanical Dentistry where he worked for 19 years. He was also recognized internationally for his invention of the oblate palate, a prosthetic device for the treatment of cleft palate. Grant was a founding member and later president of the Harvard Odontological Society. He was also a member of the Harvard Dental Alumni Association and was elected president in 1881. Grant was an avid golfer and on December 12, 1899, he received patent number 638,920 for his invention of the golf tee. Grant did not manufacture or market the tee, therefore it was not seen by anyone outside of his circle of golfing friends. It was not until 1991 that the United States Golf Association recognized Grant as the inventor of the wooden tee and for his contribution to the game of golf. He died on August 21, 1910.


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