Steel pill divider with sharp teeth on both edges, English, 18th century
In the 1700s, pills were made by mixing all of the drug ingredients together – often with liquorice or a sugar solution – and then rolling the mixture out into strips. A pill cutter would be used to divide the strips up equally into small segments, which would then be rolled into a pill shape.
The sharp teeth on each edge of the steel cutter give a different number of pills. One edge gives twelve pills and the other cuts thirty pills. The tool would have been used by a pharmacist or apothecary. Once cut and shaped, the pills were hardened, coated and stored.
- Object Number:
- pill cutter
- Loan: Wellcome Trust
Cite this page
We encourage the use and reuse of our collection data.
Data in the title, made, maker and details fields are released under Creative Commons Zero
Descriptions and all other text content are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence
Download catalogue entry as json
Download manifest IIIF
Our records are constantly being enhanced and improved, but please note that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information shown on this website.