When the undersigned, in 1880, promised his venerable friend, Prof. King, to revise the pharmaceutical and chemical sections of the American Dispensatory if it became necessary, he did not underrate the magnitude of the undertaking, and when the publishers finally decided to issue the new edition he approached the task with apprehension. It soon became evident that the work was even greater than he had anticipated, and that the pharmacy and chemistry of the book could not be revised, but must be rewritten. In consequence, in addition to his own labors, almost the entire time of Dr. Sigmond Waldbott, Librarian of the Lloyd Library, has for a long period been devoted to bibliographical research. Had it not been for the care and patience of this gentleman and the books of reference at his command, the efforts of the undersigned would have been sadly ineffectual especially in the matter of foreign chemical and historical data. The writer can not forbear adding that monetary considerations could not have induced him to undertake this enterprise, and that no material return whatever accrues to him from this publication. The exacting researches necessary have been undertaken on his part altogether as a work of love, his uttermost desire being to fulfil his promise and to credit the memory of Prof. King. If these objects have been attained, and the pharmaceutical and medical professions are also benefited by his efforts, he will be amply repaid.
J. U. L.
In addition to the entire medical section of this work, the undersigned has undertaken the portion embracing botany, botanical history, and botanical description. Most of the material pertaining to the older Eclectic practice, found in former editions of this work, has been properly credited and retained. Many of the personal statements, and all of the uses, ascribed to special formulae of the late author, Prof. John King, M. D., have been retained intact; in a few cases, where personality demanded, his initial (K.), or the full name (John King), have been appended. The aim, however, has been to modernize the therapy of the book, and with this object special pains have been taken, whenever possible, to give fully and clearly the specific indications and uses of each remedy. A dispensatory must of necessity be largely a compilation. The uses of a remedy that is not approved by the compiler, but which is indorsed by many physicians, may consequently demand recognition which might properly be excluded from a work on materia medica intended to voice only the author's experience. The aim has been to avoid commending excessive doses, though, in order to conform to the views of some authorities, large doses of some remedies have been recorded. This is especially true of many compounds used according to old-style practice.
The influx of a large number of new remedies, synthetic or otherwise, has necessitated reference to some of their reputed therapeutic properties. We have therefore ascribed to them such values as have been reported by physicians through periodicals, pamphlets, and other works. In this connection it may be stated that we have not neglected to record the uses of many semi-professional proprietary compounds and the patented chemicals now in considerable favor with many physicians, especially of the regular school. Concerning these remedies, our remarks, however, have been necessarily very conservative.
Liberal use has been made of the various Eclectic Journals, State and National Transactions, and Eclectic Annuals. We have drawn freely from Webster's Dynamical Therapeutics; Scudder's Specific Medication, Specific Diagnosis, and Diseases of Children; Locke's Syllabus of Materia Medica and Therapeutics (Felter); and Watkins' Compendium of the Practice of Medicine. We also wish to acknowledge our especial obligations to the editorials of Prof. Bloyer, in the Eclectic Medical Journal and the Eclectic Medical Gleaner; the contributions of Profs. Freeman, Thomas, and Wintermute; the editorials of Prof. Ellingwood in the Chicago Medical Times, and the contributions of Prof. Fearn and others in the California Medical Journal. To these and all others who have directly and indirectly assisted in the therapy of the book, the writer herewith extends his sincere thanks.
H. W. F.