Formulary manuscript

Unknown person (Philadelphia?)
Date [inclusive]
Physical Description
1 volume (c. 150 p.)



Manuscript formulary created by an unknown person, probably in the Philadelphia area. It contains descriptions of a wide array of pills, powders, syrups, drops, and ointments, as well as recipes for rat poison, ink, tooth powders, and “bug poison.”

At the front of the volume is a two page description of the properties and uses of chloroform with a note on “its recent introduction by Prof. Simpson of Edinburgh.” Since Sir James Y. Simpson’s announcement of the successful use of chloroform in obstetrical cases was made in Nov. 1847 and was widely disseminated the following year in the U.S., the volume probably dates to the early 1850s.

It also includes a binder’s ticket noting that the blank book was “Made and Sold by William H. Maurice, Stationer, 108 Chestnut St., Philadelphia.”

This notebook was purchased with a medical student notebook, 1850-1851, as a set for the Hyman Collection in the History of Anesthesiology. However, through both notebooks originate in Philadelphia and date from the same time, it is not clear if both were produced by the same person; the handwriting does not appear similar.

Cite as
Formulary, Hyman Collection, Archives & Special Collections, Columbia University Health Sciences Library