While most in Charlotte had left the First World War behind by 1925, many veterans in the city were still struggling with physical wounds that would last a lifetime. This led Glenn Burrows and Robert Grigsby, themselves veterans of The Great War, to convert an old truck trailer into a workshop to provide braces and artificial limbs for the Charlotte area. Carolina Brace was born.
Carolina Brace grew in its first twenty years to become the main provider of orthotics to Presbyterian Hospital and Charlotte Memorial Hospital (now known as CMC). The following decade would prove to be a period of growth for Carolina Brace, orthopedic, neuro and rehabilitation medicine itself. In the aftermath of World War II, the increasing numbers of injured veterans fueled growth for the orthopedic community, leading to Carolina Brace hiring two recently discharged veterans – Clarence Burrows and Tom Owens – that would eventually come to own Carolina Brace.
When the 1952 polio epidemic found the Charlotte region, Carolina Brace became an integral part of the team of professionals dedicated to helping these victims overcome their tragedy. As the Korean War in the early 1950s further increased Charlotte’s population of injured veterans, Carolina Brace continued to work with Presbyterian Hospital, Charlotte Memorial Hospital, the VA, Children’s Special Health Services, and many others to promote the quality of life of Charlotte’s citizens.