Caspar Wistar


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Wistar, Caspar

(wĭs`tər), 1761–1818, American physician, b. Philadelphia, M.D. Univ. of Edinburgh, 1786; grandson of Caspar Wistar (1696–1752), early Pennsylvania glassmaker. He taught (1789–91) at the College and Academy of Philadelphia, then at the Univ. of Pennsylvania organized (1791) by a merger of the college and academy with another institution. He wrote the first American textbook on anatomy, A System of Anatomy (2 vol., 1811–14), and left an anatomical collection that eventually passed to the Wistar Institute of Anatomy and Biology, founded by his great-nephew, Isaac J. Wistar. He was president (from 1815) of the American Philosophical Society, and his home was the weekly meeting place of students and scientists. The plant genus Wistaria was named in his honor.

Wistar, Caspar

(1761–1818) physician; born in Philadelphia (grandson of Caspar Wistar, 1696–1742). After completing his medical studies at Edinburgh, Scotland, he returned to Philadelphia and started a practice. In 1789 he succeeded Benjamin Rush as professor of chemistry at the medical school of the College of Philadelphia (later University of Pennsylvania), then became professor of anatomy and midwifery (1792–1810). He published System of Anatomy, the first American anatomy textbook (1811). Elected to the American Philosophical Society in 1787, he succeeded Thomas Jefferson as president (1815–18). Wistar parties, the discussion groups he was noted for sponsoring, continued after his death, and in 1818 a genus of vines, Wistaria (now Wisteria), was named in his honor.

Wistar, Caspar

(1696–1752) glass manufacturer; born near Heidelberg, Germany. He created a window and bottle glassmaking factory in West Jersey in 1740. It was the earliest successful workers' co-operative venture in the colonies.
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Caspar Wistar -- 1761-1818, physician and adviser to explorer