Alfred Stillé

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Alfred Stillé by Frederick Gutekunst, c. 1880

Alfred Stillé (October 30, 1813September 24, 1900) was a physician, writer, and educator from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 1860, Stillé wrote Therapeutics and Materia Medica, the most widely used medical textbook in the United States for decades. With John M. Maisch, he wrote The National Dispensatory, the United States' first dispensatory, in 1879 which went through many revisions and remained for some time the main guide to herbs and medicines in the country. Stillé was also one of the first people in America to distinguish between typhus and typhoid fever and 1871-72 was the president of the American Medical Association.


  • We should be very careful to distinguish between our knowledge of phenomena and our interpretations of them.
    • The Essentials of the Art of Medicine. 1897. p 26.
  • […] the virtues of a medicine depend less upon its intrinsic properties and powers than on the sagacity of the physician who administers it; just as the efficiency of firearms depends less upon the explosives and the missile they contain than on the judgment and accuracy of aim of the man who discharges them.
    • The Essentials of the Art of Medicine. 1897. p 26.

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