The Origins and Meanings of Pharmacy Symbols

The London Clinic / Photo by Ben Gilbert, Wellcome Collection, Creative Commons What have snakes, unicorns and crocodiles got to do with pharmacies? Modern pharmaceutical signs have a long history going back to the Greek gods. Wellcome Trust / 11.09.2017 While alchemists used secret symbols to disguise their chemical formulations, pharmacists used the tools of[…]

The Chymist’s Trade Card: When 18th-Century Pharmacy Usurped Alchemy

An 18th-century trade card reveals a lot more than its owner might have intended. By Julia Nurse / 10.26.2017 Collections Researcher Wellcome Library Imagine entering the shop of chymist (the word ‘chemist’ was not used until 1790) Richard Siddall as it appears on his trade card from around 1750. If the representation is at all[…]

The Poor Child’s Nurse in Victorian England

Charming family scenes in Victorian adverts for children’s medicines were in stark contrast to some of the dangerous ingredients that the products contained. Alcohol and opiates were among the substances helping to ‘soothe’ the nation’s children. By Briony Hudson / 10.12.2017 Pharmacy Historian, Curator, Lecturer British Society for the History of Pharmacy When young Betsy[…]

Graphic Battles of Pharmacy: 19th-Century Medicine Confronts Quackery

Grants and Oddities. This patient is shown to have sprouted vegetable offshoots after taking 132 boxes of vegetable pills. The caption is full of vegetable puns. / Wellcome Collection, Creative Commons James Morison’s campaign against the medical establishment inspired a wave of caricatures mocking his quack medicine. Wellcome Trust Pharmagraphics / 11.01.2017 In the 1830s, the[…]