Caspar Wistar Plaque on 4th Street

Scattered throughout the Philadelphia are markers noting places of historical importance. The Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission erects and maintains these historical markers in the city and all over the state. Of the 260 Historical Markers in the city, 48 are related somehow to science, medicine, or technology. Commonly, these plaques identify a former residence of some important person or the location of some important institution. Although I have never set out to find these markers, they are hard to miss. Previously I have stumbled across the marker for Edward Drinker Cope’s house on 21st and Pine.

Plaque marking the site of Caspar Wistar’s residence at 240 S. 4th Street.
Plaque marking the site of Caspar Wistar’s residence at 240 S. 4th Street.

Today I wandered by the former residence of Caspar Wistar at 240 S. 4th Street. Wistar was one of the more famous anatomists in early Philadelphia. He was professor of anatomy at the University of Pennsylvania and an early proponent of vaccinations. The American Philosophical Society has a nice collection of Wistar’s papers.

If you think your location deserves a historical marker, feel free to apply.

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