The Edward H Angle Society and the Angle Orthodontist began 75 years ago

Edward H. Angle was born 150 years ago

Here is how it happened:

The Date: Monday, November 17, 1930

The Place: Lake Shore Athletic Club in Chicago

In attendance: 22 of members of the former Edward H. Angle Society of Orthodontia

Agenda: “to find some way to carry forward Dr Angle's ideals of Orthodontia.”

At this meeting, “The present Edward H. Angle Society of Orthodontia* was brought into this world … as the result of the reorganization of the society of like name that preceded it. It was decided to reorganize the society, which was functioning at the time of Dr Angle's passing. A central organization was set up with four component societies, the Eastern, Midwestern, Northern California, and Southern California.” …the first official address before this society was given by Charles Tweed, his subject, “The History and Revision of the Arizona Law.” The first scientific paper was presented by Allan Brodie, his subject, “The New Mechanism.” You can read Alan Brodie's original paper at

The Angle Orthodontist was established as a living memorial to Dr Angle by action of this society in 1930. Mrs Angle was named Editor-in-Chief, and for 17 years, it was the only publication devoted exclusively to orthodontia. The present journal of the American Association of Orthodontists was originally known as the American Journal of Orthodontia and Oral Surgery and until 1948 was the official organ for both specialties. “…in 1937 discussions were held with the American Association of Orthodontists relative to The Angle Orthodontist becoming the official organ of that body. No mutual agreement could be reached and the matter was dropped.

In this millennium, we have entering a new era in scientific information transfer. Surely, Edward Angle would have been enamored of this development. The electronic media makes world-wide communication second nature. In fact, this development is much bigger than the wonderful idea that the entire Angle Orthodontist is online, free to everyone in the world. It is much bigger than orthodontics or dentistry. It is a fundamental issue of recognizing that the electronic media can be made much more widely available at far less cost per copy than paper journals. Ultimately, this will force us to decide whether this information transfer service should be available with Open Access as we now offer it. Or should scientific orthodontic information be limited in its distribution by being bought and sold for profit by commercial firms? I believe the concept of Open Access will better serve our patients and our profession.

If Edward Angle were alive today, would he not be out in front leading the way to get orthodontic information disseminated as widely and as effectively as possible? We are only the carrier of the baton, and it is our responsibility to move the Angle tradition forward as fast and as far as possible while we are the stewards.

As the current steward of the time-honored Angle Orthodontist, I am committed to using my energies and resources to make the Angle Orthodontist a leader in this transition to wider and all-inclusive communication in orthodontics. It may take a generation to fully implement the transition, but the future direction is clear. Please join me in this celebration and commitment to the future. The Angle tradition is clearly with us.

Edward Hartley Angle

Born June 1, 1855, Herrick, Bradfour County, Pa;

Died August 11, 1930, Pasadena, Calif.

1876 Graduation from Pennsylvania College of Dentistry;

1886–1899 Marion Sims College of Medicine;

1887–1892 Professor of Orthodontics at the University of Minnesota;

1892–1898 Northwestern University;

1897–1899 Medical Department of the Washington University.

1917 Founded the Angle School of Orthodontics.

*The Society officially changed its name to the Edward H. Angle Society of Orthodontists in 1967.

†This review of the history of Edward H. Angle Society of Orthodontists excerpted from Hahn George W. The History and Philosophy of the Edward H. Angle Society of Orthodontia. Read at the Twenty-fifth-Anniversary Biennial Meeting of the Edward H. Angle Society of Orthodontists, Chicago, November 6, 1955. Full text available at