Hill-Physick-Keith House

Science in the City

Hill-Physick-Keith House

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, United States

Created By: Elizabeth Morris

Point of Interest Details

What is it?

The Physick House, once home to the "Father of American Surgery", Philip Syng Physick.

Where is it?

321 S 4th St, Philadelphia, PA 19106

Does it cost to tour?

Yes, $8 General admission, $6 Students and Seniors, $20 per Family

When is it open?

Currently closed for renovation, to be open again in late April 2017.

What's on display?

The house is furnished just like a Federalist mansion would have been-- elaborate French wallpaper, marble tiles, and eagles everywhere! Notable things in the house: the counterweighted windows, designed by Thomas Jefferson, that lead into the garden, the large fan window above the door, original textiles, and many of Dr. Physick's medical tools, many of which he invented.

What's the historical and scientific significance of Physick and his house?

Dr. Physick was a notable physician and surgeon who was one of the foremost doctors during the Yellow Fever epidemic of 1793, along with his mento Dr. Benjamin Rush. He cared for many significant historical figures, including Dolly Madison, Chief Justice John Marshall, and President Andrew Jackson. He pioneered the use of the stomach pump and regularly used autopsy to discover the cause of death. He also invented many tools, some of which are still used, including tonsil guillotines used in tonsilectomies, catgut sutures which dissolve after internal surgery, and needle forceps. He was a prolific lecturer and teacher and was highly sought after. He also added fruit syrup to tonic water, creating one of the first iterations of soda (still available at Physick House!)

For more information on the house and Physick check out:

https://www.philalandmarks.org/physick-house

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_Syng_Physick

This point of interest is part of the tour: Science in the City


 

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