Kern, George Robert (cabinet maker machinist) 1894-1962
Kern, George Robert Jr. 1919-1987
Medical History, Division of (NMAH, Smithsonian Institution)
Hazelton, L. W
Henninger, R. G
Fairfax Manufacturing Company
Kern Laboratory Equipment Company
3 cu. ft.: 9 boxes
George Robert Kern was an Arlington, Va. cabinet maker and machinist who went on to invent several pieces of dental equipment that helped revolutionize the field of dentistry. In the early 1950s he was joined in these endeavors by his son, George Kern, Jr. As a machinist accustomed to tight tolerances, he knew it must be possible to make dentures fit better. The result of his work was the Dentagraph and his first patent, granted in 1950.
In 1948 Kern Laboratory was incorporated to manufacture the Dentagraph and license the "Dentagraph Technic." Kern also sold dental laboratory benches and dental molding materials under the name Kern Laboratory Equipment Company.
In the early 1950s Kern began working on high speed dental drills: he developed a water turbine drill and an air turbine drill. In 1957, the Kerns formed Fairfax Manufacturing Company (FMC) to produce their drill. Officers were Kern, Jr., and L. W. Hazelton and R. G. Henninger of Hazelton Laboratories.
Densco, Inc., a Colorado dental equipment company, marketed Kern products from ca. 1954, and in 1957 began to market FMC's products.
George R. Kern, Jr. patented several pieces of dental equipment and specialized parts for dental equipment.
Blueprints, drawings, patent applications, patents, product photographs, correspondence, bills and receipts, advertising, and published articles related to the Kerns' products. The bulk of the material, 1949-1958, is from George Kern's files. It primarily relates to the development and marketing of the Dentagraph and high speed dental drills before the formation of the Fairfax Manufacturing Company in 1957. Most of the FMC material documents Kern's role as a stockholder. However, a large portion of the blueprints and drawings were created by his son or other FMC employees. Several patents are George Kern, Jr.'s, and there are copies of other people's patents that relate to the Kerns' patents or inventing activities.
Kern Dental Equipment Collection, 1936-1970, Archives Center, National Museum of American History