Wistar, Caspar

Wistar, Caspar wĭs´tər [key], 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.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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