American Medical Biographies/Ruschenberger, William Samuel Waithman

Ruschenberger, William Samuel Waithman (1807–1895).

Ruschenberger was born on a farm near Bridgeton, New Jersey, September 4, 1807, educated in New York and Philadelphia and at the age of nineteen he entered the United States Navy as surgeon's mate and was ordered to the Pacific Coast. But after a short stay he returned east and entered the medical department of the University of Pennsylvania, whence he graduated in 1830. In the following year he was commissioned surgeon in the navy. As surgeon he made a number of cruises to various parts of the world. Ruschenberger was an able writer. In 1834 he published "Three Years in the Pacific" and in 1838, "A Voyage Around the World." These, books were widely read and were republished in England. In 1854 appeared "Notes and Commentaries During Voyages to Brazil and China." One of his best known works is "An Account of the Institution and Progress of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia During 100 Years," which appeared in 1887. His "First Books on Natural History," a series of eight small volumes, were very popular in their time and contributed more than any other work to popularize the natural sciences in this country.

Ruschenberger was a member of the American Philosophical Society, of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, and of a number of other societies. He died in Philadelphia, March 24. 1895. His portrait is preserved in the hall of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia.

Trans. Coll. Phys., Philadelphia, 1896, vol. xviii.
Proc. Amer. Philos. Soc. Philadelphia. 1895, vol. xxxiv.