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Frederick John Wulling papers

Identifier: ua-00808

Scope and Content

Collection includes correspondence with others in the fields of pharmacy and pharmaceutical education, reports, speeches, radio talks, and publications relating to the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, the American Conference of Pharmaceutical Faculties, the American Institute of the History of Pharmacy, the American Pharmaceutical Association, the Minneapolis Civic and Commerce Association, the Minneapolis Division of the National Safety Council, the Minneapolis Society of Fine Arts, the Minnesota State Pharmaceutical Association, the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, the National Association of Retail Druggists, and the United States Pharmaceutical Board.

Correspondents include William C. Alpers, Howard Armbruster, Wilhelm Bodeman, Charles E. Caspari, W.W. Charters, John B. Christgau, Andrew G. DuMez, Reginald Dyer, Robert G. Eccles, A. Foxton Ferguson (British folksong artist), Hugo Kantorwitz, Evander F. Kelly, Edward Kremers, Charles H. LaWall, Joseph Price Remington, Lucius E. Sayre, F.A. Upsher-Smith and George Urdang.

From 1908-1911, there are letters to and from Wulling about H. C. Carel and the preparation “benetol” which was being advertised as developed by the University of Minnesota (Box? Volume 4?). Correspondence during this period, falls into four main categories. First, letters to and from people directly connected with the University written in an effort to strengthen the College of Pharmacy and improve Wulling’s own position. Among these correspondents are President Cyrus Northrop, Dr. Perry Millard, and members of the Board of Regents. Second, there is correspondence with Minnesota druggists, aimed at exciting support both for the College of Pharmacy and higher pharmaceutical standards in the state. Third, is correspondence with leaders in the pharmacy schools and national organizations in regard to educational and professional standards and curricula. Fourth, is correspondence with editors of pharmaceutical periodicals.

After the college became independent of the Medical School in 1893 and Wulling was made a member of the Administrative Committee in 1912, letters to University people, except occasional social letters, are usually to the University presidents, George Edgar Vincent, Marion LeRoy Burton, Lotus Delta Coffman and Walter Castella Coffey, reporting some honor or accomplishment of the college or a faculty member, or requesting permission to attend a meeting and reporting on it on his return.

As a past president of American Pharmaceutical Association, he was on a committee which selected the annual recipient of the Remington Medal. There are many letters relative to this award, since Wulling objected to the method of voting, terming it “a popularity contest.” There is a great deal of correspondence relative to the United States Pharmacopoeia and the problems and activities associated with its decennial revision, and relative to the policies and activities of the American Pharmaceutical Association and the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy.

During 1935-1936, there are many letters, most of which are between President Coffman and Wulling, relative to Wulling’s retirement and the selection of his successor.

In addition to his correspondence, the collection also contains some Wulling's speeches, including: The Possibilities Inherent on a College of Pharmacy for Rendering the Maximum of Efficient Service to Pharmacy(Speech at the Semi-Centennial Celebration of St. Louis College of Pharmacy, November 11, 1914), and State Associations: Are They Forgetting Their Original Aims and Purposes?(1933).


  • 1884-1948


Language of Materials

Collection materials in English

Use of Materials

Items in this collection do not circulate and may be used in-house only.


Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provision of the copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code). Requests to publish should be arranged with the University of Minnesota Archives.

Biographical Sketch of Frederick John Wulling (1866-1947)

Frederick J. Wulling, degree in pharmacy (1887) College of Pharmacy of the City of New York, LL.B. (1896) and LL.M. (1898) University of Minnesota. Organized and served as professor of pharmacology and dean of the faculty of the College of Pharmacy at the University of Minnesota, and nationally known leader in field of pharmacological education.

Frederick J. Wulling was born in New York City on December 24, 1866. After graduating from the New York College of Pharmacy in 1887 at the head of his class, he continued his studies both in the United States and abroad, served as associate editor of the Pharmaceutical Record, and taught various courses at the New York College of Pharmacy, before being appointed as a professor of pharmacodynamics at the Brooklyn College of Pharmacy (1891). While he was there, one of his old professors, Dr. P.W. Bedford recommended him as a candidate to head a new department of pharmacy at the University of Minnesota. In 1892, Wulling became professor of Theory and Practice of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Chemistry, and dean of the faculty. which he headed until his retirement in 1936. Wulling also acted as director of the university medical plant garden from 1911-1936.

The College of Pharmacy was established in part through the efforts of the Minnesota State Pharmaceutical Association (M.S.Ph.A). When Wulling organized it in 1892, as a part of the Medical Department, it comprised a two-year course, with two more years of practical experience required before a diploma was granted. For the period, these were high standards for a pharmacy school. However, supplies were poor or lacking entirely, salaries were low, space for classrooms and laboratories was inadequate and Wulling was the only instructor.

Wulling was dedicated to the task of building up the College of Pharmacy, and of elevating pharmacy as a profession to an equality with medicine. He constantly raised the college’s requirements both for entrance and for graduation, and elevated standards of pharmaceutical teaching and practice. He also worked intensively with Twin Cities and state pharmacists to gain their support for his policies, not only within the University, but also in licensing requirements for pharmacists in the state. Wulling was a member of, and supported financially, a great number of organizations, from the local YMCA to the International Narcotic Education Association. In accord with his belief that by becoming known himself, he could enhance the prestige of the school, he joined many groups. He was a charter member of the Publicity Club which later became the Minneapolis Civic and Commerce Association and was for many years active in safety work as a member and sometimes chairman of Committees on Public Safety and Accident Prevention, and of the Minneapolis Division of the National Safety Council. He joined several local professional men’s groups, but was often too busy to attend unless he had been asked to speak. While his son, Emerson, was in school, Wulling was active in, and one year served as President of the Bryant School Parent Teachers Association. (1911-1912).

Wulling was instrumental in forming a section on Scientific and Practical Pharmacy in the Minnesota State Pharmaceutical Association. He was appointed its first chairman and was reappointed annually until after his retirement from the University. He bitterly opposed commercialism and merchandising as proper topics for either teaching or discussion by professional pharmacists. Each year he gave a report on the College of Pharmacy to the Association, and offered his services to the president to assist him in writing his address to the Association. Through these means Wulling was able to keep the level of professionalism among Minnesota pharmacists so high that requests for rasing standards both at the college and state board licensing levels came from the druggists themselves. He was also active in the Northwest Branch of the American Pharmaceutical Association and organized both the Minneapolis and St. Paul Veteran Druggists’ Associations.

He was a member of the American Pharmaceutical Association (A.Ph.A.) before he came to Minnesota, and helped to organize the American Conference of Pharmaceutical Faculties. He was president of the American Pharmaceutical Association in 1916-1917, and of the Conference in 1914-1915. He also served as a Trustee of the United States Pharmaceutical Board (1920-1930). After 44 years, Wulling retired as Dean Emeritus from the University of Minnesota in 1936.

In the early period two types of schools existed -- independent and university connected. There was conflict between the two groups over entrance requirements, course content, and length of course. Eventually, the private colleges which were dependent on student tuition for support, were either forced to close or become a part of another school. New York City College of Pharmacy from which Wulling graduated became part of Columbia University. But for several decades pharmacists grappled with the problem of raising standards without provoking an open breach in ranks. Wulling corresponded with men in both groups, constantly pushing for stiffer requirements, but with a consideration for the problems involved. One of Wulling;' great concerns was to have pharmacists appropriately recognized and utilized by the United States armed forces. As early as December 10, 1897, he wrote Theodore Roosevelt urging commissions for pharmacists in the navy. In 1918, he was chosen by pharmacists to be their chief spokesman at Congressional hearings on the establishment of a pharmaceutical corps.

In his early career, Wulling was a prolific writer, and even in later years, he frequently wrote for pharmacy journals. Most of the articles dealt with current problems and many were controversial. Often the editors were themselves pharmacists, many of them educators, and their letters to him are commentaries on the problem. Wulling was also in correspondence with the officers of the National Association of Retail Druggists and frequently advised them on problems. He was an honorary member of the Chicago Veteran Druggists’ Association and was regularly apprised of their meetings and activities.

Wulling delivered the first Samuel W. Melendy Memorial Lecture on February 17, 1943, and continued to deliver the lecture annually until his death in 1947. Samuel Melendy (1841-1916) was a Minneapolis druggist who had strongly supported Wulling’s work. His wife, Adelle, who died in 1941, left the bulk of her estate to the College for scholarships, the Memorial Lecture, and other college needs.

Wulling received numerous honorary degrees during his 44 years at the university. He wrote many books, mostly on pharmacy, but one was a volume on A Course of Law. During World War I, Wulling's production of a pure digitalis extract for use as a heart stimulant was widely hailed. In 1943, he was named honorary life president of the Minnesota State Pharmaceutical Association. Other organizations of which he was a member include the American Conference of Pharmaceutical Faculties, the American Pharmaceutical Association, Minnesota Academy of Sciences, and the Minneapolis Society of Fine Arts.

Frederick Wulling died on October 21, 1947 at his home in Minneapolis.


7.5 Cubic Feet (6 boxes)


This collection contains the papers of Frederick John Wulling, pharmacist, educator and dean of the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy.


The collection is arranged into the following series:

  1. Correspondence
  2. Speeches and Writings
  3. Minnesota State Pharmaceutical Association
  4. Subject Files

Related Materials in University Archives

College of Pharmacy records

Other Related Materials

The Minneapolis Public Library holds Wulling correspondence relating to the Minnesota Academy of Science

Frederick John Wulling papers, 1884-1948
Clodaugh Neiderhouser
July 2006
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Collecting Area Details

Contact The University Archives Collecting Area