Brown Bag Lecture: “Edward Darrell Smith and the Chemical Treatment of Urinary Stones”

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Date: October 28, 2014
Time: 12:00 to 1:00 p.m.

315 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106

Event Type: Open to the Public
Fee: Free
RSVP Online: No Registration Required

A talk by E. A. Driggers

Edward Darrell Smith described chemistry as a “useful hint” to physicians treating cases of urinary stones. He spent the early part of his career in the South Carolina backcountry treating complicated cases of the stone, often improvising his treatment methods as he encountered cases. But Smith also read medical journals and the latest chemical treatises. At the turn of the 19th century, chemistry was changing to embrace the new quantitative chemistry of Lavoisier. But Smith and a handful of other physicians saw the new quantitative chemistry and the means to revise humoral theory. A revised humoral theory could signal to the physician when a stone was imminent through the careful measurement of urine. In the late part of his career Smith left medical practice in order to pursue chemistry and its usefulness in preventing urinary stones.

E. A. Driggers is an Edelstein Dissertation Fellow at CHF and a PhD candidate at the University of South Carolina. His current project is entitled “Networks of Nature: Chemistry and the Revival of Humoral Theory.”

About Brown Bag Lectures

Brown Bag Lectures (BBLs) are a series of weekly informal talks on the history of chemistry or related subjects, including the history and social studies of science, technology, and medicine. Based on original research (sometimes still in progress), these talks are given by local scholars for an audience of CHF staff and fellows and interested members of the public.

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