Power received the Hanbury gold medal for his remarkable contribution to science.
Frederick Belding Power. Photograph by Underwood.
University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Power graduated from Philadelphia College of Pharmacy (1874).
University of Strasbourg, Strasbourg, Alsace, France
Power received his Doctor of Science degree from the University of Strassburg in 1880.
University of Wisconsin–Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, United States
In 1908 he received his Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Wisconsin.
Power received his early education at a private school and at Hudson Academy. He then graduated from Philadelphia College of Pharmacy (1874), and from the University of Strassburg, Germany (Ph.D., 1880). In 1908 he received his Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Wisconsin.
Power worked for several years in a local drugstore and briefly in a Chicago pharmacy before obtaining a position in the establishment of the noted Philadelphia pharmacist Edward Parrish. After spending two more years with the Parrish firm, Power studied chemistry and pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Strasbourg, and upon receiving his doctorate in 1880, he returned to America to teach analytical chemistry at the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy.
In 1883 Power went to the University of Wisconsin to serve as the first director of the newly created department of pharmacy. After guiding the Wisconsin pharmacy program through its infant years and placing it on a scientific footing that was to make it a leader in American pharmaceutical education, he left in 1892 to become scientific director of the chemical laboratories of Fritzsche Brothers in New Jersey. In 1896 Henry Wellcome established the Wellcome Chemical Research Laboratories in London and appointed Power to be director, a position he held until 1914. From 1916 until his death. Power was head of the phytochemical laboratory of the Bureau of Chemistry, United States Department of Agriculture.
Power’s research was concentrated entirely in phytochemistry. He added significantly to the knowledge of plant chemistry by isolating and purifying numerous constituents from a host of different plant substances, and by determining the chemical structures of many of these constituents.
Power and his co-workers at the Wellcome Laboratories isolated from the oil two new fatty acids, chaulmoogric and hydnocarpic acids, which were considered to be the active ingredients. They also determined the structures of these two acids, although the formulas assigned have been modified. Other important studies include his researches on the constituents of the essential oils of nutmeg, of the cotton plant, and of certain fruits.
Power was a member of the National Academy of Sciences.
Quotes from others about the person
When Frederick Belding Power died in 1927, the editor of the Journal of the American Pharmaceutical Association wrote that Power was “an honor to pharmacy and inspiration to scientists and is entitled to a place in Pharmacy’s Hall of Fame.”
In 1924, Ivor Griffith, editor of the American Journal of Pharmacy and later dean and president of the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, reviewed Power’s publications and noted that the “extent of his work and his incalculable services to his profession may be judged by surveying this brilliant record of his scientific contributions.”
Power married Mary Van Loan Meigs (died 1894) in 1883; they had two children: Mistress Annie Louise Heimke, Donald Meigs.