CHARLES HARTLEY, A FAMOUS DENTIST WHO DEVELOPED EUROPEAN ICE HOCKEY
 
Full Name: Charles George Hartley

Born: North Plains, Michigan (USA) October 13,1883

Died: Los Angeles,California (USA)  March 13,1960

Position:  Center

Clubs: Brantford Ice Hockey Club  1899-1901
          Toronto Varsity Dentals 1902-1903
          Chicago College and Dental Team 1904-1905
          Akademischer Sport Club Dresden 1906-1912
          Berliner Hockey Club 1908 (loan)
          Berliner SC 1912-17
 
Accomplishments:
Won Silver with Germany during the European Championships 1910.
LIHG champion with Germany (Berliner SC) in 1912 & 1913. Silver 1914
German Champion (Berliner SC) 1913 & 1914.
Voted best forward during the 1910 European Championships.
 
BIOGRAPHY

Charles Hartley was a person full of life who became a pioneer in several fields, including hockey
He was born in North Plains,MI (USA) but his parents soon moved to Brantford,Ontario (Canada)
where his father Robert Hartley had a grocery store on the corner at the intersection of King and Nelson street.
 
It was during the chilly winters in Brantford that Dr.Hartley learned to skate and play hockey.
He had taken up the sport as a boy in order to strengthen his ankles because they wobbled.
He started playing for the local Brantford C.I. team in the late 1890's.
His first prominent achievements came when he led the Royal College of Dental Surgery of Toronto University (Varsity Dentals) to two consecutive intercollegiate championships of Ontario in 1902 and 1903. At this point in his life Dr.Hartley enrolled to dental school at the University of Chicago,Illinois. There he continued to star for the local hockey team, the Chicago College of Dental Surgery team (1904 and 1905). It was the first hockey team ever assembled by Univ.of Chicago.

Dr.Hartley graduated from Chicago with high marks and the faculty were so impressed by his work that they recommended him for European studies to further improve in his profession. He recieved telegrams from both Switzerland and Germany to study there. Dr.Hartley finally decided to accept an offer from Dresden,Germany (later Berlin). He was the assistant surgeon dentist for the German royal court,including Friedrich August, King of Saxony and Kaiser Wilhelm II.

In USA Dr.Hartley pioneered the use of porcelain caps for teeth instead of the glaring gold crowns
(Porcelain Jacket Crown Technic). He moved to Los Angeles,California in 1917 and became the dentist for several Hollywood movie stars in later years, some of them included
Greta Garbo, Fred Astaire, Jimmy Stewart, Samuel Goldwyn and his family, Gary Cooper, Oliver Hardy, and many
more
.


Hockey was still a big part of Dr.Hartley's life when he arrived to Dresden. Before he went over to Europe he asked his German collegues if they've heard about ice hockey. Years later Dr.Hartley remembered this vividly:

"Imagine my surprise," Dr.Hartley said, "When my first tentative investigation of the possibilities of hockey in Germany were greeted with the assurance that they already knew all about hockey there.
And what hockey ! They played eleven men a side (Bandy) and used a lacrosse ball. The ice was approximately the same size and shape as an American football field. The sticks were of about the same length as a mashie-niblick, and no one dreamed of trying to carry the ball. They just batted it down the ice to the next man."
 
Dr.Hartley began playing Bandy with ASC Dresden in 1906. When he attempted to dribble the ball along in front of him. He was told that it was illegal to hold the stick with two hands.
Dr.Hartley thought it was a shame that the Germans hadn't discovered the Canadian style of ice hockey yet,so in 1907 he contacted a friend in Toronto (Dr.
Bradley Wills Linscott) and asked him to send over hockey sticks and pucks. When the material arrived, Dr.Hartley distributed it among his German bandy friends. He explained and demonstrated how Canadian ice hockey was played.
He instantly got a whole set of admirors, many of the bandy players took a liking to the Canadian
version and soon teams were put together in Germany to try the new sport.
Dr.Hartley played the game and tutored the German students during his stay in both Dresden and Berlin.

A brief look at Dr.Hartley's accomplishments for German and European icehockey gives us an
indication of how important his work was to develope the sport in Europe.
 
Dr.Hartley was loaned to Berliner HC for an international tournament that was held in Berlin between November 2-5,1908. This was the first time the German teams played an international tournament with
a puck and Canadian hockey sticks. In the first game Berliner HC lost to Princes' IHC from London
1-3. Dr.Hartley scored Berlin's only goal and got great reviews from the press for his exceptional quickness and ability to skate through the opositions defense. He also got many appreciative applauds from the crowd.

On March 4-6,1909 Dr.Hartley led ASC Dresden to a victory in an international tournament that had
six participating teams. His Dresden beat Brussels IHC 5-3 in the final.
Once again Dr.Hartley was described as the best player. He attacked lightingly quick and was
once again the crowd favorite with the Berlin crowd.

Dr.Hartley's brilliance and dominance continued during the European Championships held in
the beautiful Swiss resort of Les Avants between January 10-12,1910.
Dr.Hartley represented Germany and was a replacement for a Canadian player by the name of
Baker (who was sick). All the players except for Dr.Hartley were from Berliner SC
.
Spearheaded by Dr.Hartley the Germans finished second in the tournament.
Dr.Hartley was brilliant and was voted as the tournaments best forward, this among some
very strong competition, including the elegant players from Oxford Canadians.

A month later (February 9-11) Dr.Hartley played with ASC Dresden in an international tournament
held in Berlin. His team lost narrowly in the semifinal against Cercle des Patineurs de Paris (4-5).
Once again Dr.Hartley was the shining star.

On December 5,1911 ASC Dresden beat their German archrivals Berliner SC 5-3.
Dr.Hartley in ASC dazzled the crowd with fantastic stickhandling and perfect passes
to his teammates, setting up three goals scored by his countryman Holmes.

On December 27,1911 Dr.Hartley played with Berliner SC in London (vs Princes' IHC).
It was the first time a German team went on to play in England.
Four days later Dr.Hartley played an important role when Germany (Berliner SC) finished second
in an international tournament held in Brussels.

 

The tournament was just a warmup for the prestigious LIHG Championship also held in Brussels
(March 20-23,1912). Dr.Hartley concentrated more on defense in this tournament and largely thanks
to him he helped Germany beat Oxford Canadians (9-8) for the first time ever, helping Germany to
finish first. Hartley scored two goals. This wasn't the only time Dr.Hartley helped Germany
(Berliner SC) beat Oxford. They won on two more occasions and both times Dr.Hartley was
the most dominant player on the ice.

The move to Berlin from Dresden in 1912 gave Dr.Hartley a chance to play games more frequently.
Berliner SC were delighted to have Dr.Hartley in their lineup. His popularity soared after having
scored the game and tournament winning goal in front of 3,000 people against the Prague team Ceska Sportovni Spolecnost. That happened in a four-team international tournament held in Prague between January 12-13,1913

A little more than a month later (February 22-24), Germany (Berliner SC) were defending their
LIHG title from the previous year. This time the tournament was played in St.Moritz.
Dr.Hartley centered the best line of the tournament and once again Germany were able to win.
In 1914 he was injured and could only play one game as Germany finished second in the third
LIHG tournament.

Dr.Hartley didn't just play, he also officiated many games and was one of only three certified
German LIHG referees at that time. He for example was a referee during the 1914 European championships. He also played in the tournament, scoring a goal against Bohemia.

Dr.Hartley guided Berliner SC to their second consecutive German championship in 1914. A feat that he first was part of in 1913. During his European stint he was a willing instructor who spent most of his free time to show the Europeans the fundementals of the sport.

Then because of World War I there wasn't much hockey activity in Europe between 1915 and 1917.
In 1917
Dr.Hartley left Germany for good with a consular party

It was a great loss to German hockey. His teammates in Berliner SC were greatly saddened by his departure from Germany. They paid a great tribute to him in their yearbook when he left. Under his picture it said: "Unser Meisterlehrer" (our Master Teacher), and that is exactly what Dr.Hartley was.
It wouldn't be until 1926 that he returned to Germany to visit old friends.
When he once again returned to Germany in the early 1930's he was honoured with speeches
and gifts from various European hockey associations, including the German and Czechoslovakian.
It was their way to show their appreciation for what he had done for the sport.

Dr.Hartley was not only prominent in hockey but was also a keen golfer and won many titles
in California as a pro member of the Los Angeles Country Club and Bel Air Country Club.
Today many of his silver trophy cups resides in his childrens homes.

According to Hans Samek, the "father of German Golf" it was Dr.Hartley who learned him how to play the sport on Germany's only golf course at that time. (only 9-holes).
 
Dr.Hartley also liked canoe-ing and in the Rhine region he was nicknamed "Herr Schwartze".
It was because of his familiar black hair, that would be seen when he was paddling down the river in a canoe.

Dr.Hartley was also a strong factor in the development of hockey in California during the 1920's.
He was president of the Amateur Ice Hockey Association of Southern California and later on he
coached University of Southern California. He led them to several titles and a string of 36 undefeated games between 1931-33.

Dr.Hartley was certainly a versatile man.  He had other hobbies like duck hunting and sculpturing for example. He was an avid collector of objet d'art and used to spend his lunch breaks visiting the artisans of the Meissen and Dresden factories where they taught him how to mix the porcelains to get the colors that he needed for his dental work.

Dr.Hartley had a serious car accident in 1945. Cars back then didn't have seat-belts and the
impact of the crash left Dr.Hartley with a severe head injury.Several surgeries later, he
had become speech impaired and had lost the use of his right arm and right leg.
In later years a brain tumor was discovered between the lobes of his brain.
It was thought to have been caused by his many hockey injuries

Today his two sons (Charles Jr. and Richard) and daughter (Elizabeth) are still living in California,
mighty proud of their fathers accomplishment as one of the true pioneers of German and European
hockey.

Biography compiled by:

Patrick Houda
Carl Gidén
Birger Nordmark
© SIHSS 2004