Atlanta, Georgia — 1870-1931
Dr. Hinman was born in Stratford, Ontario, Canada, on March 4th 1870. His parents moved to Atlanta in 1871. He received his early education in the public schools of Atlanta. He received his D.D.S. degree in 1891 from the Southern Medical College in Atlanta. Dr. Hinman, from his earliest days in practice, became closely identified with the educational phase of dentistry. When the National Dental Association was reorganized in 1922, he became a member of the Board of Trustees. He also served as Association President in 1926 (now known as the ADA).
In recognition of his contributions to education in dentistry, the University of Georgia conferred upon him in 1924 the degree of Doctor of Science. He also held the position of dean of the faculty at his alma mater. He served as the president of the Georgia Dental Association in 1917.
Dr. Hinman received numerous professional honors and citations during his life. He was a member of the Organization Committee of the Seventh International Dental Congress, delegate to the conference in London in 1914, and a member of the Delta Sigma Delta Fraternity. Dr. Hinman was very active in civic affairs of Atlanta. He served as a Director of the Atlanta Arts Association, Director of the First National Bank, and the Atlantic Steel Corporation of Atlanta. He was also a member and Elder of the Presbyterian Church of Atlanta, a member of the Capitol City Club, the Atlanta Athletic club, and the Druid Hills Golf Club.
Dr. Hinman had a son, Dr. Thomas P. Hinman, Jr., who practiced dentistry in Atlanta. One of his greatest accomplishments was the organization in Atlanta, in 1913, of the Atlanta Mid-Winter Clinic. Dr. Hinman took great pride in this organization which he fostered, and he brought to Atlanta for the organizations’s programs some of the most outstanding dental and medical authorities in the United States. Dr. Hinman was as prominent in the civic and business affairs of the city and state as he was in his profession. He was a connoisseur of paintings, and possessed many valuable master paintings. As many of you know, his Southern Mid-Winter Clinic was the precursor of what we now know as the Thomas P. Hinman Dental Meeting, which has become one of the great continuing dental education meetings in the world. Dr. Hinman was described by men who knew him as an energetic, orderly man, firm but gentle. It was only after his death that the Mid-Winter Clinic bore his name. The plan drawn up by Dr. Hinman and his committee for the first Mid-Winter Clinic in 1913 set a distinctive business-like pattern that governed the Clinics throughout his lifetime and thereafter. The thoroughness of this planning provided living evidence of Dr. Hinman’s motto: ‘Devotion to detail is the secret of success.’
The Mid-Winter Clinics remained true to the basic principle of providing post-graduate education in dentistry. Now known as the Thomas P. Hinman Dental Meeting, this unique institution of international repute has seen, over the years, tremendous growth accompanied by many changes in procedures. In 1950, the Thomas P. Hinman Medallion, designed by sculptor Julian N. Harris, was presented to those who made ‘noble contributions in the first half of the 20th Century’ in nine Southern states. Georgia’s selection was Dr. Hinman posthumously. Since that time every clinician at the Annual Thomas P. Hinman Dental Meeting has been presented the medallion. Throughout the years, men of the Fifth District Dental Society (now known as the Hinman Dental Society) have emulated the ideals of Dr. Hinman. It is said: “from the tiny acorn the might oak did grow”. So it is from the idea in the mind of one man that countless numbers have benefited and become stronger and more qualified to practice dentistry as part of the healing arts. The Thomas P. Hinman Dental Meeting is a Legacy in Learning. Dr. Hinman’s life personifies professionalism, integrity, knowledge, leadership and community action. The Academy is privileged and honored to induct Dr. Thomas P. Hinman into the PFA International Hall of Fame of Dentistry.