Dr. Greene Vardiman Black (1836-1915), the acknowledged father of modern dentistry, was born in Winchester, Illinois. His work and contributions to dentistry were all based in Illinois. His career included dental practices in Winchester and Jacksonville, Illinois. Dr. Black taught at several dental schools in the area, and served as the second dean of the Northwestern University Dental School, which became know as the largest and most outstanding institution of its kind under his administration.
Dr. Black contributed to the advancement of dental science by standardizing operative procedures and providing uniformity in the manufacture of amalgam, cavity preparation and dental terminology. His development of dental amalgams, over 150 years ago, set the standards for formulae, clinical use and techniques. He provided the first dental identification and categorization of dental procedures to restore diseased or injured teeth. Among his dental inventions were the foot-powered drill engine and the gnathodynamometer for measuring bite force.
From the guide to the G.V. Black Digitized Collection of Manuscripts, Correspondence and Photographs in the Galter Health Sciences Library, Northwestern University, 1867-1915, (Galter Health Sciences Library. Special Collections)