18th Century Medical, Medicinal & Scientific
Everything to do with medicine, apothecary-physicians, dental, medical and scientific research and instrumentation.
Apothecary jar, Italy, 1730-1750 This apothecary jar is illustrated with scenes of a circumcision and three devils’ heads. Entwined snakes form the handles. The devil’s head at the base appears to be a dispensing hole for the contents of this large jar.
Modern replica of an 18th century fracture box, Colonial Williamsburg. In the 18th century, fractured limbs were set by either a surgeon or a bone-setter, after which they were immobilized with a splint and bandages. In the case of a broken leg where the patient required bed rest, a fracture box like this one would elevate and support the limb.
The first written account of the show globe as a specific symbol of pharmacy occurred in 1775 by a German visitor to London, who wrote in a letter: "The street looks as though it were illuminated for some festivity; the apothecaries and druggists display glasses filled with gay-colored spirit . . . [which] suffuse many a wide space with a purple, yellow, or azure light."
Colorful Show Globes of the apothecary were common place in England and its colonies by the eighteenth century. There were published directions on how to prepare the colors to fill these popular globes. For example, a crimson or pink color could be made by dissolving nickel in nitric acid and adding a cobalt in ammonia solution. By 1789, show globes were exported to the United States, as publicized in New York advertisements.
Tortoise shell Etui with six thumb lancets, 1770, England. Eilver, steel, tortoiseshell. The case is studded with tiny sterling silver pins. There are 3 engraved sterling silver studs above the hinge and 3 more below. The top of the lid has a sterling silver cartouche, engraved with the initials ’JEM’. The steel lancet blades are protected by tortoise shell handles. Phisick
Bed rest, adjustable, England, c.1720. plaster & wood with padded red velvet supports. Used in a hospital or at home to support a person who had been confined to bed – perhaps for medical reasons. Has 6 different positions & is adjusted using a ratchet, the set of teeth on the edge of the support bars ensures the rest stays in position. The arm supports are also adjustable. Judging from the quality of the materials and design, the rest was used by a wealthy person. Wellcome Images. Ref: A602069
Disability from 1660-1832. English Heritage (Photo of The York Retreat) Support for people with disabilities was mostly an individual's Christian and civic duty, not the state's. The parish might give you poor relief, but only if you were destitute as well as disabled. As a disabled person in society, your life was often harsh and brutal, like everyone else's.
Apothecary chest, ca.1700 -1760. Case made of mahogany wood, reinforced with bronze and lined with velvet plush. Opens as a convenient chest with drawers. Remnants of labels in Latin on some of the drawers. Secret lockable drawer on the back, which was used to store some tools made of gold as well as special medicines. bronze handle. Included: amputation saw, surgical needles, scalpel, scissors, bullet probes made of natural bone, metal bullet extractor (scoop), scales, bottles, jars etc.
Portable Apothecary cabinet, 1770s, England, Mahogany. two working keys to the original fitted locks. Upon lifting the lid and opening the two doors to the front, the most magnificent fully-fitted interior is revealed with an arrangement of fifteen bottle compartments, along with four miniature drawers and two full-width drawers all with their original turned ivory pull handles. www.antiques-atla...
Moses Harris, Prismatic colors, . Mimicking the spread of light from a source, Harris places the pure colors at the center of his circle and the lightest at the outer edge. Source: From Moses Harris, The Natural System of Colours . . . (London, ).
The Traité de la peinture en mignature appeared in many editions printed throughout Europe from about 1672 through the end of the eighteenth century. These color circles, from a 1708 edition, are the earliest published examples of Newton-style color circles in an artist's manual. Source: [C. B.] Traité de la peinture en mignature (The Hague, 1708). Credit: Courtesy Werner Spillmann collection, Basel, Switzerland.
Anatomie des parties de la génértion de l’homme et de la femme, Paris, 1773. Colored mezzotint. National Library of Medicine D’Agoty’s colored mezzotints have a painterly quality. This pregnant woman calmly looks back at the viewer, a characteristic pose of 18th-century French portraiture.
Lord Byron’s Orthopedic Boot. Lord Byron (1788-1824) reputedly wore this tiny shoe. He was born with a deformed right foot. Byron’s foot caused him great pain and frustration. One story claims he threw his leg brace into a pond as a boy. Given the small size of the shoe (10cm long), this example was worn by a child. www.sciencemuseum...