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University of Iowa News Release


Feb. 7, 2007

UI Lecturer Discusses Controversies Of Late-19th Century Dentistry

Thomas Schulein, D.D.S., associate professor of operative dentistry at the University of Iowa College of Dentistry, will present a lecture, "William Herbert Taggart and the End of the Process Patent 'Wars' in Dentistry," at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 20, in room 401 of the UI Hardin Library for Health Sciences. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Light refreshments will be served. The lecture is part of a series of presentations sponsored by the UI History of Medicine Society.

Schulein will speak on a controversial period in dentistry, between 1850 and 1910, when it was plagued by the enforcers of process patents. The talk focuses on the saga of Dr. William Herbert Taggart, a late-19th century dentist who introduced one of the most revolutionary process patents in the history of dentistry. Taggart has been seen as worthy and honorable by some, and greedy and merciless by others.

Schulein is a pre-clinical laboratory instructor, pre-doctoral and postdoctoral lecturer, and clinical instructor. His clinical activities include intramural dental practice at the UI. Schulein's research focuses on the history of dentistry, including the development of the dental drill and the gold casting process, the development of dental nomenclature and the significance of the 1890s. He also studies the status of museums within colleges of dentistry, the influence of early dental journals and the history of process patents in dentistry.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to participate in this program, contact Ed Holtum at 319-335-9154 or

For directions to Hardin Library, visit

For more information about the UI History of Medicine Society lecture series, visit

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Health Science Relations, 5137 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1178

MEDIA CONTACT: Becky Soglin, 319-335-6660, Writer: Krystal Loewe

PROGRAM CONTACT: Susan Lawrence, UI associate professor of history, UI History of Medicine Society, 319-353-4681,