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Apothecaries in Colonial Times

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       This is a collection of apothecaries in Colonial America. Apothecaries in Colonial America had far more abilities other than selling drugs, medicine, and medical advice. Doctors in apothecaries performed surgeries, trained apprentices to become surgeons, midwifing, and concocted medications. Death rates were high during the beginning of Colonial America; however, as the years progress, people begin to discover new ways to help with illnesses. So, this collection of artifacts are meant to represent the medical history and advancements in Colonial times.

       Throughout this collection, you will see many various things such as: medical tools, the apothecaries themselves, medicine containers, medical techniques, and the medicine itself.

1st Picture: This glass bottle was used to store medicine in.

2nd Picture: Workers in apothecaries knew they had to store and preserve medicine and special medicinal liquids, so to prevent anything from getting stolen they kept it in a safe-keeping box.

3rd Picture: This was a special yet common medicinal herb called, Yarrow. It was used to help aid in the female menstrual cycle, wounds, and childbirth.

4th Picture: This picture is an example of a technique a doctor in an apothecary would use to diagnose illnesses.

5th Picture: This bottle was used to distill plant oils (i.e. such as yarrow) for their medicinal use.

6th Picture: This picture shows a common thing used by people that works in the apothecaries. Mortar and pestles were used to grinding up herbs.

7th Picture: This picture depicts how apprentices made medicine. Apprentices had to use recipe books to make all the medicines and herbal potions.

8th Picture: This jar represents a common practice in apothecaries. This leech jar contained leeches for doctors to use, because they believed if they drained the blood of an ill person, it could drain their illness with it.

9th Picture: This document shows how an apothecary could actually be established. This gave permission for the apothecary to make and sell medicines, and help people be cured against all types of human illnesses.

10th Picture: This is a picture of what the interior of what an apothecary looked like.

11th Picture: This is a special type of pottery used for apothecaries, because it has a glassy outer coating to prevent liquids from soaking through.



Apothecary Bottle

National Museum of American History

Medicine Chest

National Museum of American History

Achillea sp.

NMNH - Botany Dept.

La Pharmacie Rustique

National Museum of American History

Florentine Bottle

National Museum of American History

Der Apotecter

National Museum of American History

Apothecter Gewicht und Chemische Zeichen

National Museum of American History

Leech Jar

National Museum of American History

Franchise, apothecary

National Museum of American History

Interior of Apothecary

New York Public Library