It is not necessary to inform the reader that this BULLETIN comprises but a fragment of what needs be recorded, were it our object to present a complete history of the Concentration feature of the American materia medica and its journey within the dates embraced herein. Every page carries its own suggestion of complications in connected or outside lines that must necessarily be wholly neglected, or touched but briefly. Every personage mentioned and every incident depicted leads to some feature of importance that merits more than a passing notice; so much so, that it appears to the author as though the most vital parts of the BULLETIN are too much abridged. To attempt to explain intelligently the many features closely connected with the contents of this BULLETIN would necessitate detailed descriptions and histories of adjacent lines of compounds, as well as of connected classes of pharmaceutical preparations, that in themselves merit as comprehensive a study as the author has herein given the "American Concentrations." Indeed, the necessity of doing justice, even though but scant, to our subject, and yet of neglecting exceptionally interesting subjects, or evading many interlocked complications that uprise in this or that direction, has been one of the most perplexing features of this attempt to make a comprehensive but brief record of the American concentrations, alkaloids, and resinoids. In every direction it seemed as though the efforts of the persons concerned in the products under consideration were irrevocably interlaced with other features of this American problem. For example, the pharmacy of the crude mixtures, decoctions, infusions, and acetates of the early days, the fluid and solid extracts, the essential tinctures, concentrated tinctures, Specific Medicines, and such, of more recent days, as well as the alkaloids, glucosids, and essential oils are not directly embraced in the scope of this publication, but are nevertheless intricately involved therein.
It will be perceived that the so-called Eclectic resinoids, alkaloids, and resins were intruded into the passing along of the science of pharmacy, materia medica, and medicine of the nineteenth century, much as a foreign body, for a temporary purpose, becomes a part of a structure from which it is afterwards excised, leaving in the end a few remnants only to tell the story of its former usefulness. It is as the superstructure to a bridge that, supporting the incomplete edifice, is vital to its very construction, but yet, is finally torn away by its own builders. All of this, however, and much that needs not be referred to in detail, will unquestionably appeal to the intelligent reader, as it does to the author, who fully, but yet regretfully, comprehends that which lies in the outreaches beyond the subject under discussion.
As concerns the American materia medica, its pharmacy and record, the author therefore considers this BULLETIN as merely an introductory chapter, which, with others yet unwritten, antedating as well as following this, would make the story complete. Nor does he hesitate to confess that he hopes some day to supply the missing chapters, as he has learned them. But should want of time necessitate, he must leave this most fascinating subject to the enjoyable opportunity of others.
It has been deemed advisable to introduce portraits of the principal persons involved in this record of the past. Most of those presented were in former times personal friends or acquaintances of the author, but all have passed away. The biographical sketches accompanying the portraits seem naturally, to the author, very brief, but he hopes that enough useful information is presented to introduce each fairly to the reader. Detailed descriptions of the lives of some of these men would necessitate a volume.
It may seem to our readers that many to whom reference is made in this work, but who yet are not portrayed, are even more important than some here presented. This the author appreciates, but will add that in many instances, as with Beach and Scudder, their most conspicuous work was in other sections of the American materia medica and pharmacy, and when such portions of the work are taken up in detail, whoever has that responsibility will surely find it necessary to portray and give biographical references to these men. Should the author be permitted to complete this study, as he has intimated he hopes may be the case, such men as Greve, Proctor, Parrish, Squibb, Zollickoffer, Waterhouse, Thacher, Dunglison, Cullom, and others who could well have a place here, but whose work was more conspicuous elsewhere, will surely be presented. Some there were, like Mr. B. Keith, of New York, who should here be presented on account of their prominence in the evolution of the "American Concentrations," but although no effort was spared to obtain biographical data or a portrait, this was found impossible at this late period, much to the author's regret. For a different reason, no special place is given to either Samuel Thomson or B. S. Barton, M. D., the former of whom is the subject of Lloyd Library Bulletin Number II, while Lloyd Library Bulletin Number I reproduces the "Collections" of Barton, both of these Bulletins carrying frontispiece portraits, as well as biographies of the authors named. In consequence of the fact that the portraits would have been too closely crowded together, had they been placed in connection with the pages referring to each, they are distributed promiscuously throughout the work . (They are at the end—MM)
The author desires to extend his special thanks to Professor Harvey Wickes Felter, M. D., to whom he is indebted for the photograph of Dr. John King, as well as to his biographies of the two Newtons and Dr. Wilder, in the Eclectic Medical Gleaner, published under the auspices of the Lloyd Library. Thanks are due also to the Librarian of the Lloyd Library, William Holden, M. D., and his Assistant, Miss Edith Wycoff, as well as to the Secretary of the author, Miss Margaret Stewart. To all of these the author is deeply grateful, and to their watchful care this BULLETIN owes much.
For the biographies, the footnotes, and all uncredited material of this BULLETIN the author is responsible.
JOHN URI LLOYD.