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College of Physicians of Philadelphia -
Colonial Formularies

A Collection of POWER Library: Pennsylvania's Electronic Library.

About this collection

This collection provides access to two rare dispensatories and receptures that illuminate the therapeutic practices and medical orientation of two dispensing physicians in the multilingual colonial medical market of rural Pennsylvania. The overall objective is to preserve in their entirety and to make accessible to scholarly and lay audiences a body of writings that offer insight into some of the medical resources available to the North American colonial population: A bilingual (German and English) formulary, the Medicina Pennsylvania of George de Benneville, a French Huguenot physician and the record of the practice and of the receptures - entitled Remediorum Specimina aliquot ex praxi A. W[agner] - of a Schwenckfelder practitioner from Silesia. These manuscripts can be dated roughly to the period 1740 to 1780. Both drew on numerous 18th century continental European and English sources, explicitly in the case of the Wagner manuscript and unacknowledged but obvious in the Medicina Pennsylvania. Both offer copious highly technical receptures for the armentarium of chemiatric and botanical substances that were in general use at the end of the early modern period. Similar to other physician manuals of the period, they lay out medicinals and related procedures for treatment of major diseases and conditions, including female complaints and pre- and perinatal advise. A strong but eclectic orientation to chemiatric preparations is evident, matched by reliance on the traditional botanical and animal reservoir.

 
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