Thomas Edward Wallis

  • T.E. Wallis as a student in the Chemistry lab, 1898
  • In 1925 T. E. Wallis was appointed a part-time curator; he would hold this position until 1949. After passing his exams at the Pharmaceutical Society School of Pharmacy, Wallis held various teaching and analytical positions before returning to the Pharmaceutical Society as a lecturer. He was made Professor of Pharmacognosy in 1924 and continued to contribute greatly to the development of this field of pharmacy. In 1946 he published Textbook of Pharmacognosy and was responsible for the reorganisation of the curriculum for pharmacy students towards a more chemistry-based education.

    As curator of the museum, Wallis was a meticulous note-taker and worked to extend the collections significantly. He encouraged research students from around the world to work and study in the museum.

    After 1934, use of the museum was considerably reduced, as the School of Pharmacy's expansion took much of the area originally designated for the museum. This area was further reduced to a storage room in the basement when the collections moved back to Bloomsbury Square after being evacuated during the Second World War. As curator, Holmes worked tirelessly, despite many financial and spatial restrictions, to maintain and exhibit the unique collection. Holmes was instrumental in building, preserving and recording the collection. He created a special teaching collection, from which the students and teachers could borrow specimens, allowing the main collection to remain protected from over-use. He also created a complete catalogue of the collection as well as organising and identifying the specimens. Alongside his curatorial duties he also held the post of Professor of Materia Medica from 1887-1890 and published widely in the field of botany and other natural sciences, including at least 600 papers on botany and materia medica in the Pharmaceutical Journal.

    In the first year, he was able to report 570 specimens; by 1843 he had 850 to form the core of the collection. Because of Redwood's many other responsibilities within the Society, he occasionally came under some criticism from the council for neglecting the routine maintenance of the museum collection. This resulted in the creation of a full time curatorial position for the rapidly increasing collection in 1868.

    Redwood's main interests lay in the study of chemistry, so he was also made director of the chemistry laboratory when it was opened in 1844. Along with John Attfield and Robert Bentley he was the joint editor of the 1867 edition of the British Pharmacopoeia. His dedication and contribution to the formation and development of the Pharmaceutical Society was commemorated by his colleagues in the creation of the Redwood Scholarship following his death.