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George Franklin Grant Bibliography


Harvard Medical School

Harvard Dental School


Freeman, Robert Tanner


Dr. George Franklin Grant (1847-1910) of Oswego, New York, received a degree from the Harvard Dental School in 1870 and then joined the faculty as an authority on mechanical dentistry. He was the first African-American faculty member at the university and remembered today for his invention and patenting of the golf tee.


Albumen print of George Franklin Grant, the first African-American faculty member


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Harvard Dental School Class Pictures (DD1870.B10)


Gift of Dr. Charles Wilson to the Harvard Dental School, 1894



Unknown, “George Franklin Grant,” Center for the History of Medicine: OnView, accessed March 11, 2018, https://collections.countway.harvard.edu/onview/items/show/6610.

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George Franklin Grant (September 15, 1846 – August 21, 1910) was the first African-American professor at Harvard. He was also a Boston dentist, and an inventor of a wooden golf tee.[1]


He was born on September 15, 1846, in Oswego, New York, to Phillis Pitt and Tudor Elandor Grant.[2][3]

He entered the Harvard School of Dental Medicine in 1868, and graduated in 1870. He then took a position in the department of mechanical dentistry in 1871, making him Harvard University's first African-American faculty member.

He was a founding member and later the president of the Harvard Odontological Society and was a member of the Harvard Dental Alumni Association where he was elected president in 1881. In 1899 he improved on Percy Ellis' "Perfectum" tee.[4]

He died on August 21, 1910, at his vacation home in Chester, New Hampshire, of liver disease.[5]



Golf tee patent, granted December 12, 1899
  1. ^"George Franklin Grant, 1847-1910". Harvard. Retrieved 2007-05-24.  
  2. ^"African Americans and the Game of Golf". New York Times. Retrieved 2007-06-21.  
  3. ^"Son Invented Wooden Tee for Golfing". The Post-Standard. Retrieved 2007-06-21.  
  4. ^Mary Bellis, "History of Golf & Golf Equipment".
  5. ^Pete McDaniel (2000). "Birth of the tee: The story behind the man who gave the ball the perfect setup - George Franklin Grant, inventor". Bnet. Retrieved 2007-05-24.  

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