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David Greenman notes on Materia Medica lectures delivered by Adam Kuhn at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School

Ms. Codex 1866

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Summary Information

Repository:
University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Creator:
Greenman, David
Title:
David Greenman notes on Materia Medica lectures delivered by Adam Kuhn at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School
Date:
1785
Call Number:
Ms. Codex 1866
Extent:
0.1 linear foot (1 volume)
Language:
English
Abstract:
This book of notes was kept by David Greenman during a course of Materia Medica lectures delivered by Dr. Adam Kuhn at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School in 1785. The lecture notes themselves are not limited to Materia Medica in the strictest sense, in that they also include some information about physiology, pathology and therapeutics. The notebook is briefly inscribed by Dr. Edward Cutbush (1772-1843) an officer and surgeon in the United States Navy.
Cite as:
David Greenman notes on Materia Medica lectures delivered by Adam Kuhn at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School, 1785, Ms. Codex 1866, Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, University of Pennsylvania
PDF Version:

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Biography/History

Little information about David Greenman is readily available; he attended lectures at the Medical School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1785 but did not graduate. Dr. Edward Cutbush, who inscribed this volume, graduated from the University in 1794 and pursued a successful career as an officer and surgeon in the U.S. Navy. An eminent scientist of eighteenth century Philadelphia, Dr. Adam Kuhn (1741-1817) was a professor first of Botany and Materia Medica, and then the Theory and Practice of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania between 1768 and 1797.

Scope and Contents

This book of notes was kept by David Greenman during a course of Materia Medica lectures delivered by Dr. Adam Kuhn at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School in 1785. The first pages of the volume include some curious annotations by Dr. Edward Cutbush in 1814. Cutbush claims, "These notes have been taken incorrectly from my friends' lectures- I purchased the volume at a public auction. Washington" and a few pages later, "orthography very incorrect." David Greenman’s signature on the title page of the notebook has been scribbled over in ink but is still legible. The lecture notes themselves are not limited to Materia Medica in the strictest sense, in that they also include some information about physiology, pathology and therapeutics. The organization of the material in the book is somewhat disjointed, and begins with a brief history of medicine, overview of physiology, discussion of digestion and the qualities of various foods (salt, sugar, milk, etc.), and the means of treating diseases, especially scurvy, by regulation or alteration of the diet. Subsequent sections focus more specifically on medicines and their classifications, especially into the categories of astringents (including “metallic astringents” like iron, lead and zinc), stimulants (including “bitters” like cinchona bark) and sedatives (among which opium is discussed at greatest length). A fairly detailed description of types of tumors, particularly those characteristic of breast cancer, begins on page 128, and a discussion of hysteria follows from page 139 to 148. The medical properties and applications of alkaline substances, soap, errhines (drugs that produce a runny nose) and mercury are subsequently explained, followed by the therapeutic uses of purgatives and blisters. The penultimate section of the book touches upon the topics of plethora (a systemic excess of blood in the body) and complications relating to menstruation, and the final chapter relates to anthelmintics (anti-parasitic medications). At the very end of this book is an alphabetized index of the contents of the notebook, which lists a combination of the names of drugs and medicinal plants, and the medical conditions discussed.

Administrative Information

Publication Information

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts,  2017 October 12

Finding Aid Author

Finding aid prepared by Rive Cadwallader

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Source of Acquisition

Gift of Mrs. W. P. Durfee of Geneva, New York.

Processing Information note

Formerly: Dewey MS 615.04 K954.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)
  • University of Pennsylvania. School of Medicine.
Form/Genre(s)
  • Lecture notes
  • Notebooks
  • Notes
Personal Name(s)
  • Cutbush, Edward, 1772-1843
  • Kuhn, Adam, 1741-1817
Subject(s)
  • Materia medica
  • Materia medica--Early works to 1800
  • Medical education--United States
  • Medical students
  • Medicine
  • Medicine--Study and teaching

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Collection Inventory

Volume

"Notes taken from Doctor Adam Kuhn's Lectures on Materia Medica, by David Greenman", 1785.

1