BLOM carl magnus (1737-1815)

During Blom's medical studies at the Uppsala University he also became one of Linnaeus' numerous pupils. Following Linnaeus on his "herbationes" or botanical excursions and his lectures, Blom's interest in natural history woke and became his life-long occupation. Blom became a typical linnaean disciple, always in the mood to discover, observe, describe, give name and classify. His dissertation under Linnaeus in 1763 was on Lignum Quassiae, the root of a tree, which was first brought into use in Surinam, by a Negroe called Quassii, who revealed its virtues in curing fevers. In 1760-61 Blom accompanied Anders Hebbe, a foundry propriotor, on a journey to Aachen and Burscheid during which he made visits to the universities of Leyden, Utrecht and Copenhagen. On this tour he obviously also came across several books for his library, which was rich in materia medica. Alongside his medical profession Blom continued his assiduous studies in natural history, and collected specimens mainly from the Dalecarlia province, where he lived in Hedemora and held the position as provincial physician between 1774-1808 for the southern part of Dalecarlia. His insect collection comprised over 1000 species and he planned a Catalogus Insectorum Hedemorearium. During an anticipated famine in the province he published a Kokbok för Fattige (Falun, 1801), a cookery book for the poor. He is immortalized by Tortrix Blomiana, an insect named after him. Blom continually presented books both to the Collegium Medicum and to the Society of Medicine. His books are generally bound in grey paper boards with sprinkled spines, probably made by himself, with the title written on the spine in his very neat hand. In the upper right corner of the inside front cover you find his initials "CmB". Boethius, B. in Svenskt Biografiskt Lexikon, vol. 5 (1924).