In the 1850s, Philadelphia publishers Blanchard & Lea released the nation’s first text on pharmacy, authored by the gentleman pictured here.
Can you guess his name?
Answer: Edward Parrish
Edward Parrish, born into the large Philadelphia Quaker family of Joseph Parrish and Susanna Cox, was born in 1822. One year prior to his birth, the nation’s first school of pharmacy—the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy—opened. Exactly twenty years later, Parrish graduated from this same school, and he would later return to it as a professor. He opened his first drug store in 1843 near the University of Pennsylvania, though he eventually moved to Eighth and Arch streets.
The establishment of the College of Pharmacy represented a local movement towards professionalizing the dispensation of controlled substances, drugs and medication. William Procter Jr., the “father of American pharmacy” and a founder of the American Pharmaceutical Association, served on the college’s board alongside Edward Parrish in the 1840s and 1850s.
In addition to publishing the first American text on pharmacy titled “Introduction to Practical Pharmacy” (1856), Parrish also authored a textbook and guide titled “A Treatise on Pharmacy” (1867). He served the first president of Swarthmore College. Parrish passed away in 1872.