Lucy Hobbs Taylor

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Lucy Hobbs Taylor
Lucy Hobbs Taylor.jpg
Lucy Hobbs Taylor
Born (1833-03-14)March 14, 1833
Constable, New York
Died October 3, 1910(1910-10-03) (aged 77)
Nationality United States
Fields dentist

Lucy Hobbs Taylor (March 14, 1833 – October 3, 1910) was the first American woman to graduate from dental school (Ohio College of Dental Surgery in 1866).[1]

Early life[edit]

Lucy Hobbs was born on March 14, 1833 in Constable, New York. She entered the working world by teaching school for ten years in Michigan. In 1859, she moved to Cincinnati, intending to become a dentist. When she was refused admission to dental school, she began a private program of study with a professor from the Ohio College of Dental Surgery.[2]

Dental career[edit]

After studying dentistry, Lucy Hobbs started her own practice in Cincinnati in 1861. She soon moved to Bellevue and then McGregor, Iowa, where she spent three years. In 1865, she finally gained all professional recognition when she was allowed to join the Iowa State Dental Society. That November, she entered the Ohio College of Dental Surgery, where in 1866 she earned her doctorate in dentistry,[2] becoming the first woman in the United States to do so.[3] She later wrote, "People were amazed when they learned that a young girl had so far forgotten her womanhood as to want to study dentistry." [4]

Hobbs next moved to Chicago where she met James M. Taylor whom she married in April 1867, becoming Lucy Hobbs Taylor. Taylor then convinced her husband to also enter dentistry. The two then moved to Lawrence, Kansas, where they practiced jointly until James Taylor died in 1886. After her husband's death, Lucy Taylor ceased to be an active dentist, but became more active in politics, campaigning for greater women's rights, until her own death on October 3, 1910.[2]

Legacy[edit]

By 1900, almost one thousand women had followed Lucy Taylor into dentistry, an increase many attribute largely to her accomplishments.[5] In 1983, the American Association of Women Dentists honored Taylor by establishing the Lucy Hobbs Taylor Award, which it now presents annually to AAWD members in recognition of professional excellence and achievements in advancing the role of women in dentistry.

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