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Wilbur Scoville

Wilbur ScovilleAKA Wilbur Lincoln Scoville

Born: 22-Jan-1865
Birthplace: Bridgeport, CT
Died: 10-Mar-1942
Location of death: Gainesville, FL
Cause of death: unspecified

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Chemist

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Scoville heat units

Pharmacologist at Parke Davis, a Detroit-based pharmaceutical company. In 1912, Scoville developed the "Scoville Organaloptic Test" to measure the perceived heat intensity of chile peppers. The test measured how much a spicy substance would have to be diluted in sugar water before its pungency was no longer noticable. Originally, Scoville ratings were based on human response to progressive dilutions, but contemporary applications employ machines to directly measure amounts of capsaicinoids, the chemicals responsible for the sensation of heat. Bell peppers are considered to have a Scoville rating of zero, that is, lacking any piquancy, whereas habanero peppers have a Scoville rating of 300,000. Pure capsaicin rates at 16 million Scoville units.

The American Pharmaceutical Association awarded Scoville the Ebert Prize in 1922, and the Remington Honor Medal in 1929, though likely these awards had nothing to do with his eponym.

Father: Lemuel Scoville (b. 19-Sep-1821, d. 17-Sep-1909)
Mother: Adeline Augusta Ewing Fuller ("Augusta", b. 3-Mar-1830, d. 26-Apr-1895)
Brother: Augustus Ewing Scoville (b. 20-Apr-1856)
Sister: Mary Alice Scoville (b. 22-Jul-1860)
Brother: Frank Fuller Scoville (b. 26-Nov-1870)
Wife: Cora V. Upham (m. 1-Sep-1891)
Daughter: Amy Augusta Scoville (b. 21-Aug-1892)
Daughter: Ruth Upham Scoville (b. 21-Oct-1897, d. 17-Jan-1982)

    University: PhG, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy
    Professor: Massachusetts College of Pharmacy (1892-1904)

    Parke-Davis Head, Analytical Department (1924-34)
    Parke-Davis Research Chemist (1907-24)
    E. L. Patch Co. Manager, Assay Department (1889-91)
    American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy Secretary-Treasurer (1901-04)
    American Pharmaceutical Association Detroit, MI (1891)
    Units of Measure pungency

Author of books:
The Art of Compounding (1895, pharmacology)
Extracts and Perfumes (19--, pharmacology)

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