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Manuscript formulae and receipts book


Held at: University of Delaware Library Special Collections [Contact Us]181 South College Avenue, Newark, DE 19717-5267

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Delaware Library Special Collections. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

The creator of this nineteenth-century manuscript book of formulae and receipts is unknown, though the entry dates and sources suggest that the creator may have been a chemist, druggist, or medical practitioner in or near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Biographical information derived from the collection.

This nineteenth-century American manuscript contains approximately eighty-five pages of medicinal formulae and household receipts along with notes and sketches of plants and their medicinal properties. The volume dates from approximately 1861 to 1877 and may have been created by a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, resident with a medical or scientific background.

The first twenty leaves of the manuscript include detailed descriptions of plants and their physical properties. These botanical entries include the plants' scientific Latin names as well as their common names; habitat; notes on stem, flowers, and leaves; and medicinal properties. The entries are copied in a neat hand in encyclopedic format and all are dated from November 1865.

The remaining sixty leaves contain household formulae or medicinal receipts followed by blank sheets. Occasionally the verso of a page was used for sketches or to finish an earlier entry. These household and medicinal recipes include instructions for producing sealing wax, silver cleaner, tooth cements, inks, dyes, ale, Fish House (Schuylkill) punch, chilli sauce, glue, liquid waterproofing, matches, and Parisian cologne. Medicinal receipts comprise the majority of the latter portion of the volume and include treatments for "hooping cough," lockjaw, pimples, and hay fever. Many entries reference sources, including the

Boston Journal of Chemistry, Universal Almanack, Pradal's A Complete Treatise on Perfumery, and Philadelphia's Public Ledger.

The leather-bound manuscript is in fragile condition, lacking its front cover.

  1. Item 0109: Shelved in SPEC MSS 0097

Source unknown, accessioned December 1996.

Processed and encoded by Lynda Gillow, June 2007. E. Evan Echols, July 2015.

University of Delaware Library Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
Finding Aid Date
2007 June 20
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections, University of Delaware Library,

Collection Inventory

Manuscript formulae and receipts book, 1861-1877. 1 volume.
Item 0109
Physical Description

1 volume

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