Skip to main content

Oldberg, Oscar, 1846-1913



  • Existence: 1846-1913

Oscar Oldberg was born January 22, 1846 in Alfta, Helsingland, Sweden, the son of Pastor Andrew and Fredrika (Ohrstromer) Oldberg. He was educated in public schools and by private tutors and later attended the Gymnasium of Gelfe. In 1861 he began working in a drug store and studying pharmacology with Sir F.W. Helleday in Falum. In 1865 he became a licensed pharmacist and moved to the United States.

Oldberg worked as a pharmacist in New York for two years. In 1869 he joined the faculty of the School of Pharmacy of Georgetown College in Washington, D.C. He later became dean of the National College of Pharmacy also in Washington. In 1874 Oldberg began working with the U.S. Marine Hospital Service as chief clerk and medical purveyor. In 1882 he moved to Chicago. When the Northwestern University School of Pharmacy was established in 1886 Oldberg became its dean and professor of pharmacy. He retired from Northwestern in 1911 due to poor health.

Oldberg wrote several books and manuals including The Metric System in Medicine (1881), A Manual of Weights, Measures and Specific Gravity (1885), A Course in Home Study for Pharmacists (1891), A Laboratory Manual for Chemistry, Medical and Pharmaceutical (1893) written with John H. Long, Inorganic, General, Medical and Pharmaceutical Chemistry (1900), 1500 Prescriptions of All Kinds Right and Wrong (1901), and Pharmacy; Theoretical and Practical (1913). He was a member of the American Pharmaceutical Association, the American Chemical Society, the American Metrological Society, the National Geographic Society, and the Chemical Society of Germany among other organizations. In 1880 Oldberg was elected a member of the Committee of Revision and Publication of the Pharmacopoeia of the United States. He was appointed and reappointed to this committee for three ten-year terms.

Oldberg married Emma Parritt on May 17, 1873. The couple had three children: Arne, Olga, and Virgil. Oldberg died in Pasadena, California on February 27, 1913.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Oscar Oldberg (1846-1913) Papers

Identifier: 61/1
Abstract The papers of Oscar Oldberg (pharmacist and educator; dean and professor of pharmacy in Northwestern University's School of Pharmacy) consist of a professional correspondence, articles written by Oldberg, lecture notes, and bound volumes of notes, as well as his academic gown and hood.
Dates: 1877-1913