Wilbur Lincoln Scoville (January 22, 1865 – March 10, 1942) was an American pharmacist best known for his creation of the "Scoville Organoleptic Test", now standardized as the Scoville scale. He devised the test and scale in 1912 while working at the Parke-Davis pharmaceutical company to measure piquancy, or "hotness", of various chile peppers.
Scoville was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut. He married Cora B. Upham on September 1, 1891 in Wollaston (Quincy, Massachusetts). They had two children, Amy Augusta, born August 21, 1892 and Ruth Upham, born October 21, 1897.
Scoville wrote The Art of Compounding, which was first published in 1895 and has gone through at least 8 editions. The book was used as a pharmacological reference up until the 1960s. Scoville also wrote Extract and Perfumes, which contained hundreds of formulations. For a time he was a professor at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. In 1912, he devised the test and scale known as the "Scoville Organoleptic Test" while working at the Parke-Davis pharmaceutical company. It measured piquancy, or "hotness", of various chile peppers. It is now standardized as the Scoville scale.
In 1922, Scoville won the Ebert prize from the American Pharmaceutical Association and in 1929 he received the Remington Honor Medal. Scoville also received an honorary Doctor of Science from Columbia University in 1929.
He won the following awards from the American Pharmaceutical Association (APhA):
- 1922 – The Ebert Prize, given to "...recognize the author(s) of the best report of original investigation of a medicinal substance..."
- 1929 – The Remington Honor Medal, the APhA's top award.
- Homer Worthington Brainard (1915). A Survey of the Scovils Or Scovills in England and America: Seven Hundred Years of History and Genealogy. Priv. print. Retrieved 30 April 2012.
- Wilbur Scoville profile on NNDB
- Periodic Table of Scoville Units Interactive Periodic Table of Scoville Units Chart
- Scoville Scale/Scoville Heat Units Explanation at Tabasco web site
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