Bigelow, Jacob, 1786-1879

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Physician and botanist of Boston, Mass.

From the description of Jacob Bigelow letter, 1822-1833, [Boston]. (Duke University). WorldCat record id: 34847536

Jacob Bigelow (Harvard University, A.B. 1806 and University of Pennsylvania, M.D. 1810) taught at Harvard Medical School from 1815-1855. With Dr. Francis Boott he began work on a flora of New England but this project was given up. From 1817-1820 he published American medical botany for which he drew many of the plates and devised the means of reproducing them through a color aqua-tint process. A revised edition of the Florula bostoniensis published in 1824 marks the end of Bigelow's period of greatest botanical activity. Bigelow was appointed Rumford Professor of the Application of Science to Useful Arts at Harvard from 1816-1827 and published his Elements of technology in 1829. In addition, Bigelow played a major role in the establishment and design of Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge.

From the description of Botanical illustrations by Jacob Bigelow, 1813-1819 (inclusive). (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 40290644

Bigelow (Harvard, A.B., 1806), taught materia medica and application of science to the useful arts, and was Overseer at Harvard.

From the description of Papers of Jacob Bigelow, ca. 1820. (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 77069229

Physician and botanist.

From the description of Letter to Ticknor, 1866 January 12. (University of Virginia). WorldCat record id: 48823259

From the description of Jacob Bigelow correspondence, 1854. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 79455623

Zaccheus Collins was a merchant and botanist.

From the guide to the Zaccheus Collins botanical correspondence, 1805-1827, 1805-1827, (American Philosophical Society)

Bigelow (Harvard, A.B. 1806; Pennsylvania, M.D. 1810) was Rumford Professor and professor of materia medica at Harvard Medical School, 1815-1855, and published American Medical Botany, for which he drew many of the plates. He was visiting physician to the Massachusetts General Hospital and had a very large consulting practice. He wrote and lectured on educational reform, medical ethics, therapeutics, and botanical subjects; and he was a primary editor of the first U.S. Pharmacopoeia (1820). Bigelow designed Mt. Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Mass., where he is buried.

From the description of Papers of Jacob Bigelow, 1795-1879 (inclusive). (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 281436858

Jacob Bigelow (1787-1879), a botanist and physician in Boston, Massachusetts, served as lecturer at the Harvard Medical School from 1815 to 1818; Rumford Professor and Lecturer on the Application of Science to the Useful Arts from 1816 to 1827; Professor of Materia Medica from 1815 to 1855; and as a member of Harvard's Board of Overseers from 1846 to 1854. After graduating from Harvard College in 1806, Bigelow received his Doctor of Medicine from the University of Pennsylvania in 1810. In 1811, Bigelow established a medical practice in Boston and began a series of botanical lectures at Harvard College with William Dandridge Peck (1763-1822), Massachusetts Professor of Natural History.

As the Rumford Professor at Harvard, Bigelow's objective was to apply scientific principles to improve daily life and the human condition. Although Bigelow only served as Rumford professor for eleven years, he helped solidify the teaching of the applied sciences at Harvard. As a classroom instructor, Bigelow taught his students using scientific demonstrations and experiments. Bigelow created a large collection of working models to demonstrate scientific principles in his lectures. He built architectural working models of domes, roofs, arches, walls, and columns; models of chimney stoves and fireplaces; various steam engines, windmills, and watermills; and three working models of the Waltham, Massachusetts cotton factory. Subjects discussed in his classroom involved the strength of various materials, the methods of illumination, heating, ventilation, metallurgy, writing and printing, engraving and lithography, locomotion, machinery, horology, and the preservation of organic substances . Bigelow's lectures were delivered to large audiences each semester. Seeking a more accurate word to describe the application of practical knowledge and instruction, Bigelow coined the term "technology" to describe the use of scientific ideas in the useful arts, and in 1829, Bigelow published his lectures under the title Elements of Technology, taken chiefly from a Course of Lectures delivered at Cambridge, on the Application of the Sciences to the Useful Arts.

In 1816, Benjamin Thompson (1753-1814), also known as Count Rumford, a British physicist, inventor, and social reformer, bequeathed an annuity of $1000, a reversion of a $400 annuity he bequeathed his daughter, and his residuary estate, to Harvard College for the establishment of a professorship to "teach regular courses of academical and public lectures" in the field of the practical sciences. The establishment of the Rumford Professorship illustrated the new emphasis on the application of science at Harvard and in many other colleges in America at the beginning of the nineteenth century. The first five incumbents of the new chair were subsequently known as the "Rumford Professor and Lecturer on the Application of the Sciences to the Useful Arts." After 1910, "Lectureship" was removed from the title and the holders of the chair were known as the "Rumford Professor of Physics."

From the guide to the Records of Jacob Bigelow, Rumford Professor and Lecturer on the Application of Science to the Useful Arts, 1816-1827., (Harvard University Archives)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Story, Joseph, 1779-1845. [Letter] 1831 Nov. 12 [to] Doctor [Jacob] Bigelow. Boston Athenaeum
creatorOf Bigelow, Jacob, 1786-1879. Jacob Bigelow letter, 1822-1833, [Boston]. Duke University, Medical Center Library & Archives
referencedIn Peirson, A. L. (Abel Lawrence), 1794-1853. Papers of Abel Lawrence Peirson, 1812-1905 (inclusive), 1812-1866 (bulk). Harvard University, Medical School, Countway Library
referencedIn Zaccheus Collins correspondence, 1805-1827 Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia
referencedIn Yale, Leroy Milton. Lecture Notes, 1826-1828 (inclusive). Harvard University, Medical School, Countway Library
creatorOf Story, Joseph, 1779-1845. Papers, 1796-1844. Harvard Law School Library, HLS Library
creatorOf Bigelow, Mary Anna. Autograph collection, 1638-1859, bulk: 1770-1820. Massachusetts Historical Society
creatorOf Bigelow, Jacob, 1786-1879. Rumford Lecture Notes, 1815-1819 (inclusive). Harvard University, Medical School, Countway Library
creatorOf William L. Clements Library. Richard Rush papers, 1812-1856. University of Michigan, William Clements Library
referencedIn Harvard University Archives Photograph Collection: Portraits, ca. 1852-ca. 2004 Harvard University Archives.
creatorOf Bigelow, Jacob, 1786-1879. The Classical Mother Goose, circa 1865. Harvard University, Medical School, Countway Library
creatorOf Paine, Robert Treat, 1866-. Family papers, 1754-1901. Boston Athenaeum
creatorOf Greenough, William Whitwell, 1819-1899. Letters received, 1850-1892. Boston Athenaeum
referencedIn B. A. G. Fuller autograph collection, 1620-1920. Houghton Library.
creatorOf Bigelow, Jacob. Letters to Joseph Story, 1812-1843. HCL Technical Services, Harvard College Library
referencedIn Webster, Daniel, 1782-1852. Letter [n.d., n.p.], to Hiram Ketchum, New York. Dartmouth College Library
creatorOf Bigelow, Jacob, 1786-1879. Papers of Jacob Bigelow, ca. 1820. Harvard University, Archives
referencedIn Gray, Jane Lathrop Loring, 1821-1909. Collection of botanists' autographs and biographies, 183-189 (inclusive. Harvard University, Botany Libraries
referencedIn North American Review, papers, 1831-1843. Houghton Library.
referencedIn William Warland Clapp correspondence, 1790-1891 (inclusive), 1840-1891 (bulk). Houghton Library.
referencedIn Papers, 1796-1845 Harvard Law School Library, Harvard University.
creatorOf Bigelow, Jacob, 1786-1879. Botanical illustrations by Jacob Bigelow, 1813-1819 (inclusive). Harvard University, Botany Libraries
referencedIn Lewis Gannett papers, 1681-1966 (inclusive) 1900-1960 (bulk). Houghton Library.
referencedIn Palfrey family papers, 1713-1915. Houghton Library.
creatorOf Boston Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge. Papers II, 1830-1843. Massachusetts Historical Society
creatorOf Bigelow, Jacob, 1786-1879. On the Phthisis pulmonalis, and the discriminating marks of all such cases of thoracic affection as admit of or require the operation of paracentesis, circa 1809. Harvard University, Medical School, Countway Library
creatorOf Bigelow, Jacob, 1786-1879. Summer Street Documents, 1836. Harvard University, Medical School, Countway Library
creatorOf Bigelow, Jacob, 1786-1879. List of subscribers of American Medical Botany, circa 1818. Harvard University, Medical School, Countway Library
creatorOf Scollay family. Papers, 1704-1870. Massachusetts Historical Society
referencedIn Autograph File, B, ca.1500-1976. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Richard Rush papers, Rush, Richard papers, 1812-1856 William L. Clements Library , University of Michigan
referencedIn American Philosophical Society Archives. Record Group IIb, 1807-1825 American Philosophical Society
creatorOf Mack, William, 1814-1895. Dr. William Mack Papers, 1829-1840. Peabody Essex Museum
referencedIn Francois André Michaux papers, 1802-1911, 1802-1911 American Philosophical Society
creatorOf Harvard University. Museum of Comparative Zoology. Trustees. Draft of proposed act of incorporation of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, 1859. Harvard University, Ernst Mayr Library of the Museum of Comparative Zoology
referencedIn Simpson, James Young, Sir, 1811-1870. Corrected galley proof of Sir J.Y. Simpson's (2nd) letter addressed to Dr. Jacob Bigelow of Boston, April, 1870 [manuscript] : with corrections and additions in the handwriting of Sir James and of his son Sir Walter. McGill University Library
referencedIn Bartlett, Elisha, 1804-1855. Elisha Bartlett papers, 1821-1936 (inclusive). Yale University Library
referencedIn Jared Sparks collection of American manuscripts, 1582-1843. Houghton Library.
creatorOf Bigelow, Jacob, 1786-1879. Letter, May 24, Mount Vernon, to James Fields / Jacob Bigelow. Dartmouth College Library
creatorOf Zaccheus Collins botanical correspondence, 1805-1827, 1805-1827 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Charles Sumner correspondence, 1829-1874. Houghton Library.
creatorOf Bigelow, Jacob, 1786-1879. Papers of Jacob Bigelow, 1795-1879 (inclusive). Harvard University, Medical School, Countway Library
referencedIn John Vaughan papers, 1768 - Circa 1936, 1768 - Circa 1936 American Philosophical Society
creatorOf Bigelow, Jacob, 1786-1879. Jacob Bigelow correspondence, 1854. Library of Congress
referencedIn Rolla Kent Beattie Papers, 1899-1956 Washington State University Libraries: Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections
referencedIn Collins, Zaccheus, ca. 1764-1831. Botanical correspondence of Zaccheus Collins of Philadelphia, 1805-1827. American Philosophical Society Library
creatorOf Bigelow, Jacob, 1786-1879. Letter, 1870 July 25, Boston, to George Ticknor, [n.p.]. Dartmouth College Library
referencedIn Records of the Erving Professor of Chemistry and Mineralogy kept by John White Webster, 1824-1835 and undated. Harvard University Archives.
referencedIn Massachusetts Horticultural Society, 1816-1928. Massachusetts Horticultural Society
referencedIn Harvard University. Professorship records: Rumford Professorship and Lectureship on the Application of Science to the Useful Arts, 1816-1827 (inclusive). Harvard University, Archives
referencedIn Hays, Isaac, 1796-1879. Papers, ca. 1820s-1879. American Philosophical Society Library
creatorOf Bigelow, Jacob, 1786-1879. Account Book of Medical Botany, 1816-1823 (inclusive). Harvard University, Medical School, Countway Library
creatorOf Bigelow, Jacob, 1786-1879. The Polyglot Mother Goose, circa 1865. Harvard University, Medical School, Countway Library
creatorOf Nichols, Arthur Howard, 1840-1922. Arthur Howard Nichols papers, 1831-1923. Massachusetts Historical Society
creatorOf [Jacob Bigelow, biographical materials] University of Wisconsin - Madison, General Library System
referencedIn Linnean Society of London. Correspondence of American scientists, 1738-1865. American Philosophical Society Library
creatorOf Steel Cannon Company (Boston, Mass.). Records, 1843-1846. Massachusetts Historical Society
creatorOf Jackson, James, 1777-1867. Papers, 1787-1867. Massachusetts Historical Society
creatorOf Bigelow, Jacob, 1786-1879. Letter to Ticknor, 1866 January 12. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Bigelow, Jacob, 1786-1879. Ledger Indices, 1824-1870 (inclusive). Harvard University, Medical School, Countway Library
referencedIn Mathematical theses, 1782-1839. Harvard University Archives.
referencedIn Chapman, Ann Greene, 1802-1837. Notebook and diary 1813-1825. Boston Athenaeum
creatorOf Bigelow, Jacob, 1786-1879. Papers, 1777-1879. Massachusetts Historical Society
referencedIn Isaac and I. Minis Hays papers, Circa 1820-1925 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Linnean Society of London correspondence of American scientists, 1738-1865, 1738-1865 American Philosophical Society
creatorOf Bigelow, Jacob, 1786-1879. Hospital Cases, 1838-1839 (inclusive). Harvard University, Medical School, Countway Library
creatorOf Annin, William B., 1791?-1839. Engravings, 1817-1819. Winterthur Library
creatorOf Bigelow, Jacob, 1786-1879. Manuscript journals and commonplace books [manuscript], 1765-1858. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Bigelow, Jacob, 1786-1879. Materia Medica, circa 1825. Harvard University, Medical School, Countway Library
referencedIn Papers, 1806-1902. Houghton Library.
creatorOf Torrey, John, 1796-1873. Papers, 1818-1859. Duke University, Medical Center Library & Archives
creatorOf Bigelow, Jacob, 1786-1879. Ledgers, 1816-1870 (inclusive). Harvard University, Medical School, Countway Library
creatorOf Bigelow, Jacob, 1786-1879. Visiting list, diary, and book of engagements, 1866-1868 (inclusive). Harvard University, Medical School, Countway Library
creatorOf Records of Jacob Bigelow, Rumford Professor and Lecturer on the Application of Science to the Useful Arts, 1816-1827. Harvard University Archives.
creatorOf Jarvis, Edward, 1803-1884. Edward Jarvis papers, 1796-1886 (bulk 1822-1884). Concord Free Public Library, Special Collection
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Adams, Abigail Brooks, 1808-1889. person
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associatedWith Baldwin, Loammi, 1780-1838. person
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associatedWith Bartlett, Elisha, 1804-1855. person
associatedWith Barton, William P. C., (William Paul Crillon), 1786-1856 person
associatedWith Batchelder family. family
associatedWith Beattie, R. Kent (Rolla Kent), b. 1875 person
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associatedWith Bigelow, Mary Anna. person
associatedWith Bigelow, Mary Scollay, 1793-1882. person
associatedWith Board of Overseers corporateBody
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associatedWith Chapman, Ann Greene, 1802-1837. person
associatedWith Clapp, William Warland, 1826-1891 person
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associatedWith Coolidge, Catherine Parkman. person
associatedWith Corporation corporateBody
associatedWith Dwight, Elizabeth Ameliia, 1809-1883. person
associatedWith Eddy, Caspar W. person
associatedWith Elliott, Stephen, 1771-1830 person
associatedWith Fields, James Thomas, 1817-1881. person
associatedWith Fuller, B. A. G. (Benjamin Apthorp Gould), 1879-1956 person
correspondedWith Gannett, Lewis, 1891-1966 person
associatedWith Gray, Jane Lathrop Loring, 1821-1909. person
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associatedWith History of Medicine Collections (Duke University) corporateBody
associatedWith Ives, Eli, 1778-1861 person
associatedWith Jackson, James, 1777-1867. person
associatedWith Jarvis, Edward, 1803-1884. person
associatedWith John Davis person
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associatedWith North American Review. corporateBody
associatedWith Nuttall, Thomas, 1786-1859 person
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correspondedWith Palfrey family. family
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associatedWith Parkman, Francis, 1823-1893. person
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associatedWith Steel Cannon Company (Boston, Mass.) corporateBody
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correspondedWith Story, Joseph person
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correspondedWith Sumner, Charles, 1811-1874 person
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associatedWith Webster, Daniel, 1782-1852. person
associatedWith Webster, John White, 1793-1850 person
associatedWith Wednesday Evening Club. corporateBody
associatedWith William L. Clements Library. corporateBody
associatedWith Yale, Leroy Milton. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
Massachusetts
Massachusetts--Boston
India
Mount Auburn Cemetery (Watertown and Cambridge, Mass.)
Cuba
Washington (D.C.)
Europe
Niagara Falls
Subject
Literature--Translations
Materia medica
Botany, Medical
Materia medica--Handbooks, manuals, etc
College teachers
Subscriber
Anecdotes
Ownership
Medical records
Wit and Humor as Topic
faculty
Tuberculosis--therapy
Appointment books
Account books
Translations
Translation and humor
Serial publications
Appointments and Schedules
Botany
Lectures and lecturing
Tuberculosis--Treatment
Physicians
Nursery rhymes
Literature
Pharmaceutical Preparations
Tuberculosis--diagnosis
Land tenure
Periodicals
Jurisprudence
Indexes
Patients
Botanical illustration
Speeches, addresses, etc
Prosecution
Occupation
Botanists
Physicians
Function

Person

Birth 1787

Death 1879

Male

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