Homeopathic medicine chest, London, England, 1880-1920

Made:
1880-1920 in London

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Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Medicine chest with 2 drawers, mahogany, containing 38 phials and 6 bottles of homeopathic medicines, also Homoeopathic Vade Mecum Medical and Surgical by Ruddock, 1877 ed., parts of stethoscope and enema syringe and styptic pencil, made in England, 1880-1920

Doctors used medicine chests such as this mahogany example as home remedy kits. This homeopathic medicine chest was manufactured by B. C. Garratt of Stoke Newington. It contains 38 phials and six bottles of homeopathic medicines. Homeopathy relies on the idea that ‘like cures like’. For example, treatment for vomiting is something that causes vomiting but in a smaller, much diluted dose. The chest also contains a monaural stethoscope, an enema syringe and a book titled ‘Homoeopathic Vade Mecum of Modern Medicine and Surgery’. The book is by E. Harris Ruddock. It is commonly used today by homeopaths worldwide. This edition was published by the Homeopathic Publishing Company in 1877.

Homeopathy was founded by Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843). It was brought to England in the 1830s. There were over 80 homeopathic practitioners in London by the 1870s. There was friction with the traditional medical establishment. However, pharmacists quickly exploited interest in the new remedies.

Details

Category:
Materia Medica & Pharmacology
Object Number:
A21810
Materials:
brass, leatherette, mahogany
type:
medicine chest
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • furnishing - artefact
  • case furniture
  • chest
  • drug
status:
Loan: Wellcome Trust

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