Caspar Wistar. M.D. portrait
Portrait of Caspar Wistar. From the Simon Gratz collection [0250A]. Wistar was an American physician and anatomist. He is sometimes referred to as Caspar Wistar the Younger, to distinguish him from his grandfather of the same name. He was professor of chemistry and the institutes of medicine i...
|Collection:||Simon Gratz autograph collection (#0250A)|
|Box Number:||Box 7/34|
|Folder Number:||Folder 54|
|Subjects and Genres:|
|Copyright:||Please contact Historical Society of Pennsylvania Rights and Reproductions (firstname.lastname@example.org)|
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Portrait of Caspar Wistar. From the Simon Gratz collection [0250A]. Wistar was an American physician and anatomist. He is sometimes referred to as Caspar Wistar the Younger, to distinguish him from his grandfather of the same name. He was professor of chemistry and the institutes of medicine in the College of Philadelphia from 1789 till 1792, when the faculty of that institution united with the medical department of the University of Pennsylvania, of which he was adjunct professor of anatomy, midwifery, and surgery until 1808. In that year, on the death of his associate, Dr. William Shippen, Jr., he was given the chair of anatomy, which he retained until his death. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1803. For his teaching at the University of Pennsylvania, he developed a set of anatomical models — human remains preserved by injecting them with wax — to assist with the teaching of anatomy. He published A System of Anatomy in two volumes from 1811–1814. His fame attracted students to his lectures, and he was largely the means of establishing the reputation of the school. Meanwhile, he was chosen physician to the Pennsylvania Hospital, where he remained until 1810. His reputation as an anatomist was increased by his description of the posterior portion of the ethmoid bone with the triangular bones attached, which received universal recognition as an original treatment of the subject. He was an early promoter of vaccination. During the yellow fever epidemic of 1793, he suffered an attack of the disease contracted while caring for his patients.