Created By: Elizabeth Morris
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?
Public tours are available on the hour 11:00 AM through 3:00 PM
(last tour) Thursday-Saturday April-November
Additional Wednesdays Memorial Day to Labor Day (11 AM - 3 PM)
12:00 to 3:00 PM (last tour) on Sundays
Weekends only (Saturday/Sunday) in March and December.
*Last two weekends of December closed.
January and February by appointment only.
Please call 215-925-7866 to schedule.
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 mentor 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:
This point of interest is part of the tour: Science in the City