BY EDWARD KREMERS, PH. D.
In the fall of 1884 the writer matriculated at the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy as a junior student; in the fall of 1885 as a senior pharmacy student in the recently established Department of Pharmacy at the University of Wisconsin. During the academic year 1886-87 he acted as Professor Power's assistant. It was during these three years, when a young man is said to be more impressionable than during any other period of his life, that Drugs and Medicines of North America by J. U. and C. G. Lloyd made its appearance in fascicle form.
While acting as Professor Power's assistant, the writer was initiated into the fascinating field of phytochemical research. The results of the year's work were incorporated in two papers which professor Power sent to the Cincinnati meeting of the American Pharmaceutical Association. They were read by Professor John Uri Lloyd. The connection between these two men had previously been established through their common interest in the alkaloids of hydrastis. In 1884 Power had published a paper "On Hydrastine" in the Proceedings of the American Pharmaceutical Association. Moreover, the writer recalls being shown handsome specimens of large crystals of hydrastine made by Lloyd and sent to Dr. Power. He was also told that the senior editor of "Drugs and Medicines" had inquired of Dr. Power for further information. Thus a connection, though indirect, had also been established between the investigator of American medicinal plants at Cincinnati and the novice, who had tried his newly acquired knowledge and skill in the study of a single American plant at Madison, long before they met at the White Mountain Meeting in the Profile House in 1892. It is for this reason that this foreword naturally drifts into a personal relation.
The first edition of Pharmacographia by Flueckiger and Hanbury had appeared in 1874, the second in 1879. While American medicinal plants had by no means been ignored, the rapid development of American vegetable materia medica seemed to call for either a supplement or a treatise of its own. Schoepf, the Hessian army surgeon, after the War of Independence, had explored the North American flora and had written a Materia Medica Americana in 1787, reprinted as a Bulletin of the Lloyd Library in 1902 or 1903. However, this contained but brief botanical descriptions. Bartram and his students at the University of Pennsylvania had published a number of monographs in which the chemical constituents of the plants as well as their therapeutic action received such consideration as was possible at the time. Maisch, at the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, had published abstracts from graduation theses in which extraction with selective solvents à la Dragendorff played an important role. The pharmaceutical manufacturers representing the Eclectic School of Medicine had made a specialty of galenicals from American medicinal plants which resulted in the isolation, for the most part in a crude and impure condition, of certain groups of therapeutically active substances, such as the resinoids. It remained, however, for John Uri Lloyd to make an intensive study of a number of plants that had acquired therapeutic significance. In this he was aided by the facilities of a manufacturing laboratory as contrasted with the meagre opportunities, so far as quantity was concerned, of the investigator in the college laboratories.
That Lloyd made good use of this opportunity and supplemented it by the collection of everything and anything pertaining to American medicinal plants in the Lloyd Library, is known the world over. That he gave the benefit of his laboratory results to the world when he, with the coöperation of his brother, as botanist, began the publication of Drugs and Medicines of North America does not appear to be now generally known for the book has long been out of print, hence appears to be unavailable to many an investigator now engaged in fields touched upon by Lloyd in the eighties of the past century. It, therefore, afforded the writer a distinct pleasure to be told that the Lloyd Library has decided to republish the work and thus make it more generally available. It is no less a pleasure to him to have been requested to write a foreword to the Reproduction Bulletin which is to contain the first instalment of Drugs and Medicines of North America.
In this connection it should be mentioned that when Flueckiger came to this country in the summer of 1894, he not only enjoyed the use of some of the treasures of the Lloyd. Library, but, at a conference with John Uri Lloyd, requested the latter to write the chapters on American medicinal plants for the History of Drugs which the author of Pharmacographia had under preparation. Unfortunately, the "father of modern pharmacognosy" died shortly after his return to Geneva. However, the fruits of his labors as well as those of Lloyd and numerous other investigators have been incorporated in the monumental Handbuch der Pharmacognosie by Alexander Tschirch.