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Caspar Wistar, by Thomas Sully, 1830.
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Head and shoulders formal painting of Caspar Wistar.

Credit: Courtesy of the American Philosophical Society

One of the early Republic's most prominent American physicians and men of learning, Caspar Wistar chaired the Department of Anatomy at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School, wrote the first American textbook on anatomy, and was an early advocate of the use of vaccinations. To better teach his medical students, Wistar also introduced life-sized anatomical models made of human limbs and organs that became the core collection of the Wistar and Horner Museum, the nation's first anatomical museum. A man of varied interests, Wistar was also a skilled botanist and one of the nation's leading paleontologists.

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