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Caspar Wistar notes on the lectures of Joseph Black

 Item
Identifier: 10a 12
Four volumes of notes on 118 chemistry lectures delivered by Joseph Black at the University of Edinburgh in 1784.

Dates

  • circa 1784

Creator

Extent

4 Volumes

Biographical / Historical

Caspar Wistar, anatomist, was born in Philadelphia on 13 Sept. 1761 to Richard and Sarah (Wyatt) Wistar. He married (1) Isabella Marshall on 15 May 1788 and (2) Elizabeth Mifflin on 28 Nov. 1798, with whom he had three children. On 22 Jan. 1818 he died in Philadelphia.

As a child, Wistar was educated in Friends’ schools. He studied medicine under John Redman and John Jones. He received an M.B. from the University of the State of Pennsylvania in 1782 and an M.D. from the University of Edinburgh in 1786.

Wistar set up private practice in Philadelphia, where he became an influential member of the medical and scientific community. He helped unite the Medical Department of the University of the State of Pennsylvania with its rival, the Medical School of the College of Philadelphia (1791). He served as Attending Physician to the Philadelphia Dispensary (1786) and Physician to Pennsylvania Hospital (1793-1810). He also held the academic posts of Professor of Chemistry at the College of Philadelphia (1789) and Adjunct Professor of Anatomy, Surgery and Midwifery (1792), Professor of Anatomy and Midwifery (1808-1810), and Professor of Anatomy (1810-1818) at the University of Pennsylvania.

In addition to papers published in the Memoirs of the American Philosophical Society, Wistar’s most notable writing is System of Anatomy (1811), the first American textbook on anatomy.

Wistar was a member of the Philadelphia Medical Society and was very active in the American Philosophical Society, where he served as Curator (1792-1794), Vice-President (1795-1814) and President (1815-1818). He was elected a Fellow of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia on 3 April 1787.

Joseph Black, chemist and physician, was born on 16 April 1728 in Bordeaux, France to John and Margaret (Gordon) Black. He never married. Dr. Black died in Edinburgh, Scotland on 6 Dec. 1799. Black received his M.D. from the Medical Department of the University of Edinburgh in 1754. His thesis was historic for two reasons: it was the first to successfully demonstrate the use of a balance in providing quantitative data for a scientific experiment and it established carbonic acid as a constituent part of alkaline substances. In 1756, Dr. Black replaced William Cullen as the Chair of Anatomy and Chemistry at the University of Glasgow, but quickly switched positions with the Professor of Medicine. After 10 years, Black became Professor of Medicine and Chemistry at the University of Edinburgh. He gave his last lecture in 1797. Black was internationally respected for his experiments and teachings. He was a member of the Paris and St. Petersburg Academies of Science, the Society of Medicine of Paris, the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and the Royal College of Physicians (London).

Custodial History

Presented to the College of Physicians of Philadelphia on 4 May 1887 by Mrs. Mifflin Wistar in the name of her husband.
Title
Caspar Wistar notes on the lectures of Joseph Black

Repository Details

Part of the Historical Medical Library of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia Repository

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