Packet of mercurous chloride tablets, Kassel, Germany, 1914-1917

Made:
1914-1917 in Kassel
maker:
Unknown

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

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

10 packets of mercurous chloride tablets in wrapping paper, German, military issue, 1917

Mercurous chloride (HgCl) is also known as calomel. It was a popular drug from the 1800s onwards as it contained mercury, a chemical that was claimed to cure many illnesses. However, it slowly poisoned those who used it because mercury is toxic.

Many of those taking such a drug would have been experiencing a venereal disease (VD) – probably syphilis. Calomel was used as an antiseptic and laxative during the First World War, but given the high rates of VD in the military it clearly proved useful in that context too. The packet contains calomel in tablet form to be taken orally. This packet was supplied by the 11th Army Corps of the German Army to its medical personnel and soldiers.

Details

Category:
Materia Medica & Pharmacology
Object Number:
A653640
Measurements:
tablet: 11 mm 12 mm,
type:
calomel

Cite this page

Rights

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

Using our data

Download

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.