Pharmaceutical Colleges and Associations.

Philadelphia College of Pharmacy.—The preliminary examinations of the Junior Class were held in November and December last, and passed off satisfactorily. The following questions embrace those of the two preliminary and of the final junior examination, which latter took place on February 19th.

Botany and Materia Medica.

1.—Explain the nature of a living cell, and of its contents. Name some of the cell markings, and state how they are produced.

2.—Explain the nature of closed and of open fibrovascular bundles. In what plants or class of plants is each kind found, and in what manners is each kind arranged in the stems of these plants?

3.—Explain a) the growth of leaves, b) their anatomical structure, and c) the different forms of venation.

4.—Give a brief history of the development of stamens define their position in the flower, and name for each variety of position some officinal flowers or herb.

5.—Give the botanical name, the habitat, the shape of the leaves, the color of the flowers, and the medical properties of each of the following officinal herbs: Thoroughwort, Grindelia, Tansy and Wormwood.

6.—Give the botanical characters of the natural order of Rosaceae. In what respects do its three principal Suborders differ? Mention some drugs or useful plants from each of these Suborders.

Theory and Practice of Pharmacy.

1.—Define specific gravity and specific volume, and give the specific gravity and specific volume of the officinal liquid which weighs 647 grains to the fluidounce, water weighing 455.7 grains at the same temperature. Show all of the figures used in making the calculation.

2.—Define evaporation, distillation and sublimation.

3.—Describe a method of filtering through paper substances which are solid or semi-solid at ordinary temperatures and which require the constant application of heat to retain them in a liquid condition; illustrate the subject with a drawing

4.—Describe the process of decantation and illustrate its effectiveness by an example showing the production of an insoluble salt by the mixture of two simple solutions.

5.—Give the process for making Acidum Nitrohydrochloricum, U.S.P. What are its properties and uses? What compound is produced during the process, and what precautions are necessary in dispensing the Acid?

6.—How would you prepare by an officinal process, an antidote to poisoning with Arsenic? Describe its mode of action upon this poison.


1.—What is the use of the Barometer? Explain the principle upon which it is based. Why is mercury used rather than water in the ordinary barometer?

2.—What is the action of a glass prism upon a ray of white light passing through it? Enumerate the simple colors of the Spectrum. What is the Spectroscope, and what is it used for?

3.—How are binary molecules named? Give an example. Define an acid, a base, and a salt. Are haloid salts binary or ternary molecules?

4.—Write out the reactions for making chlorine by the two methods generally used. For what element has chlorine an especial affinity? Give illustrations. What are the pharmaceutical and practical uses of chlorine?

5.—What is the difference between an Acid Sulphite and a Neutral Sulphite? Illustrate by giving the formula of an officinal Salt of each class. How do Thio-Sulphates differ in formula from Sulphates and Sulphites? Illustrate by example, using officinal Salts.

6.—Name the officinal varieties of Carbon. State the source of each and mention the points in which they differ. State the pharmaceutical and technical uses for each of these varieties.

Questions by the Committee.

1.—Name and describe five implements or appliances in common use at the prescription counter. Give a short description, and an explanation of the use of each.

2.—Describe the occurrence of Sulphur in nature. In what forms is Sulphur found in the shops? Give the officinal names of these several varieties. To what impurities are these liable?

3.—Give a typical formula for an officinal fluid extract. State why the process of evaporating the weak percolate to a soft extract is preferred to the former method of adding the evaporated liquid to the reserved portion.

4—How does the descending axis of Monocotyledonous and Dicotyledonous plants usually differ in structure and development? Briefly describe the chief distinctive characteristics of the ascending axis, and leaves of the Monocotyledons and Dicotyledons.


Santonica. Aqua Anisi. Acidum Sulphurosum.
Lobelia. Liquor Ferri chloridi. Potassii chloras.
Lavandula. Spirit. Aether. nitrosi. Magnesii sulphas.
Syrupus Zingiberis.

In Operative Pharmacy the students were required to prepare Syrupus Ferri iodidi and Unguentum Hydrargyri nitratis.

The re examination of those junior students who failed in the February examination in one or more branches will be held on Friday afternoon, September 30th, at 3 o'clock.

The examination of the senior students took place from Saturday afternoon, February 26th, until Thursday, March 3, operative pharmacy and chemical analysis being the subjects reserved for the last day.

Materia Medica and Botany.

A.—Senega root.—Give the botanical name, the natural order, and the habitat of the plant. Describe the drug, explain its structural characteristics, and state how it may be distinguished from false Senega, sometimes seen in the market. Name the principal constituents of the drug and give the percentage of the acrid principle. What are the medical properties of Senega, and in what doses is it given?

B.—Jalap.—Give the botanical name, the natural order, and the habitat of the plant. Describe the drug and explain its structure. What percentage of resin should it contain? State the behavior of this resin to simple solvents, and to chemical solvents. How would you distinguish it from the resins of false Jalaps? Give the medicinal dose of Jalap and of the resin.

C.—Broom.—Give the pharmacopoeial name of the drug; also the botanical name, the natural order, the habitat, and the officinal part of the plant. Describe the drug, and give its medical properties, and its dose. What important principles does it contain?

D.—Mezereon.—Name the plant or plants yielding it; also the natural order, and the habitat. Describe the physical characters of the drug, and its structure. What constituents have been obtained from it? Which of the constituents is acrid? Give the medical properties of the drug, and its dose.

E.—Staranise.—Name the plant and the natural order, the habitat, and the part used. Describe the drug, stating also the relative weight of its different parts, and the proportion of volatile oil yielded by these parts. Name some other drugs or plants, yielding volatile oils chemically identical with that of staranise.

F.—Flaxseed.—Name the plant, and the natural order. Give a description of the drug, and explain its structural characteristics. Name its important medical constituents, and state the location of each in the tissues. In what percentage is one of the principles obtained by cold and hot pressure?

G.—Lupulin.—What is lupulin? Name the plant, and the part of the plant yielding it. Describe its physical properties, and its structure. Name its important constituents, and explain the change taking place on exposure. Give the medical properties of lupulin, and its dose.

H.—Lactucarium.—Name the plant and its natural order from which lactucarium is obtained. How is lactucarium procured? What are its physical properties? State the effect of simple solvents upon it, and give the percentage soluble in diluted alcohol. Name its bitter and other important constituents. What effect has alkali upon lactucarium? State the medical properties, and the dose.

I.—Papaveraceae.—Name the plants of this order, yielding officinal drugs, and give the parts used; also, the most important constituents of each, a characteristic property or reaction of each constituent named, and the medicinal dose of each drug.

K.—Adulterations.—Describe the processes by which you would detect the following adulterations: 1., Oil of sassafras in oil of gaultheria; 2., Gum arabic in opium; 3., Starch in gamboge; 4., Salicin in quinine; 5., Rosin in resin of scammony.

Theory and Practice of Pharmacy.

A. l.—What is the specific gravity of the officinal liquid of which one fluidounce weighs 478.03 + grains?

2.—What is the liquid, and what is its specific volume?

3.—How many fluidounces of the liquid are there in a kilogramme?

4.—How many grains of the liquid are therein a cubic-centimetre?

B.—Give the unabbreviated officinal names, ingredients, brief outlines of process and describe the appearance of Solution of Chlorinated Soda, Fluid Extract of Indian Cannabis, Aromatic Wine, Compound Tincture of Cinchona Basham's Mixture, Infusion of Digitalis, Compound Extract of Colocynth, and Vinegar of Opium.

C.—Give the English names, ingredients, brief outlines of process, and describe the appearance of Abstractum Jalapae, Ceratum Sabinae, Tinctura Nucis Vomicae, Emplastrum Belladonnae, Infusum Sennae Compositum, Confectio Sennae, Mistura Chloroformi, and Pyroxylinum.

D.—Give the officinal ingredients and quantities used in making one pound Avoirdupois, each of Dover's Powder, Oleate of Mercury and Tincture of Iodine.

E.—Define the term, vinous fermentation, name the substances which must be present, and state the conditions requisite for the successful preparation of wine. Describe the various stages in the process for making malt and name the ferment which is active in the formation of malt. What does good extract of malt consist of, and what is its most valuable constituent?

F.—What are the officinal tests for the identity of Sulphate of Quinine? Explain the action of the officinal test (Kerner's) for impurities in Sulphate of Quinine. What impurities is this test designed to detect? What is the smallest percentage of these impurities that it is expected to discover?

G.—What are Compressed Pills? Draw a sketch or describe in words a form of apparatus, which may be used in making them upon a small scale, give a description of a machine for making them upon a large scale, what are the advantages and disadvantages attending the use of these pills.

(MM.—The test goes on—and on—bear in mind these are not Board Certification tests, but rather "finals" for the students. Students were also required to identify by appearance, texture and (when appropriate) taste forty unlabeled plants, extracts, finished preparations and compounded chemicals.

...and there were giants in those days...)

The American Journal of Pharmacy, Vol. 59, 1887, was edited by John M. Maisch.