New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1861. Single volume, measuring 7.75 x 4.75 inches: (3), 4-140, (4). Original full brown textured cloth, boards blind-ruled and lettered in gilt, pale yellow coated endpapers. Four pages of publisher’s advertisements at rear. Bookplate of Susan Hayhurst to front pastedown, early ownership stamp of A.M. Fullerton to front free endpaper. Light spotting and rubbing to binding, especially spine ends; upper hinge weak; short closed tear to gutter of front free endpaper.
Early American printing of Florence Nightingale’s classic treatise on the care of the sick, the copy of Susan Hayhurst, the first female pharmacist in the United States. Nightingale’s brisk common sense is fully on display in Notes on Nursing, a treatise aimed not at medical professionals, but at women nursing ailing family members at home. Nightingale stresses the importance of fresh air, light, cleanliness, and quiet in the sickroom, and offers pointed advice on diet: “To leave the patient's untasted food by his side, from meal to meal, in hopes that he will eat it in the interval is simply to prevent him from taking any food at all.” Notes on Nursing was an immediate success in England when it appeared in 1859; the first American edition, in 1860, was similarly well-received. The owner of this 1861 printing, the Quaker Susan Hayhurst, earned her degree in medicine from the Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1857. A lifelong public health educator, she chaired the Committee of Supplies of the Pennsylvania Relief Association during the Civil War. In 1883, Hayhurst became the first woman to receive a pharmacy degree in the United States, going on to mentor generations of women pharmacists at the Woman’s Hospital of Philadelphia until her death in 1909. A very good copy of a classic work of nursing, bringing together two pioneering women in medicine.