New Air-conditioning

New Air-conditioning

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During the week 10-14 December new air-conditioning machinery and associated pipework are being installed in the Museum and in the meeting/exhibition room next door.

As a precaution against the dust that could have accumulated in the roof space being released when suspended ceiling tiles are removed, as much as practical of...

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Museum Publication: The Christopher Pharmacy

Museum Publication: The Christopher Pharmacy

The first of Bradford on Avon Museum’s booklets has now been published, in conjunction with publishers Bed and Bolster.

The all-colour booklet details the history of the chemist shop that now forms the centrepiece of the Museum and gives an idea of how its business was carried out.

The booklet sells at £2 and is available in the Museum and from the Tourist Information...

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Glass bottles: Tincture Rounds

Glass bottles: Tincture Rounds

Tincture rounds are cylindrical glass bottles that are designed to hold the liquid tinctures the chemist extracted from plant material. They have narrow necks with ground glass stoppers. Tinctures were chemical extracted by immersing leaves, roots, wood or bark in liquid with a content of more than 40% ethanol (alcohol), leaving the mixture for a couple of weeks, shaking occasionally...

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Glass bottles: Ether Rounds

Glass bottles: Ether Rounds

Ether rounds are cylindrical bottles that are designed to hold volatile liquids that are likely to blow their stoppers out. They have a cover of glass, like this one, or of metal to make sure the stopper is not lost or even to allow it to fall back into place.

This bottle is labelled GYCER:BORACIS, glycerine of borax and has a glass pouring stopper under the glass...

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Cosmetics and Perfumes

Cosmetics and Perfumes

Richard Christopher spent some time in Singapore after he qualified as a pharmacist, returning via Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and India. When he came to Bradford on Avon in 1908 to work the shop he immediately started to develop a range of perfumes, soaps and cosmetics based on the scents and flavours he discovered in the East.

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Medicine Bottles

Medicine Bottles

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Richard Christopher supplied the liquid medicines to his customers in glass bottles, often with dose graduations, usually in teaspoons, on the side. He had drawers full of printed labels for all sorts of medicines and bearing his name.

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Branded Medicines

The chemist shop, specially late in its life, always sold medicines made by others. Often in the early days these proprietary medicines were of the cure-all sort or tonics. By the late 20th century increasing industrialisation meant that the shop sold more and more branded goods.

Click on the thumbnail pictures for a bigger view.

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Non-medical stock

Non-medical stock

Chemist shops, as the name implies, dealt in all sorts of chemicals and products that had a origin relating to chemical processes- hence photography, household cleaners, soap, insecticides and even alcoholic drinks.

Click on the thumbnail pictures for a bigger view.

Many dry products came in cardboard cylinders with tinned steel tops and bases like this...

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Veterinary medicines and equipment

Veterinary medicines and equipment

As well as supplying medicines for people, the chemist made and sold medicines for domestic and farm animals.

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Click on the thumbnail pictures for a bigger view.

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R.T. Christopher sold medicines to the public for their pets. These...

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Poison Bottles

Poison Bottles

Bottles for containing poisonous chemical were usually distinguished from others by colour, usually blue or green, and by touch -with ridges and different shapes.

Click on the thumbnail pictures for a bigger view.

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A poison round bottle with both colour and touch differences. It has...

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Weights and Measures

Weights and Measures

The pharmacist spent a good deal of time in measuring quantities of chemicals by weight and by volume. Until the late 20th century pharmacists were very conservative in their use of old-fashioned systems of measurement. As well as familiar pounds and ounces, pints and fluid ounces they used less familiar units, passed on from the old days of apothecaries, for measuring...

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Pestles and Mortars

Pestles and Mortars

Pestles and mortars were important pieces of apparatus in the old-time chemist shop and are used as an international sign for a pharmacist. They were used to bruise, crush, grind and mix chemicals and the raw materials from which medicines were derived. They come in all sorts of sizes depending on the amount being dealt with and different materials: metal, wood, ceramic, glass and...

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Carboys

Carboys

A carboy is a large glass vessel for containing a big quantity of liquid.

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Four decorative carboys were displayed in the chemist shop windows and are again in the reconstruction in the Museum. Of a distinctive shape, they form part of the identification of a chemist shop; even today small versions can be seen at the...

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Syringes, enemas and nasal douches

Syringes, enemas and nasal douches

Click on the thumbnail pictures for a bigger view.

Hypodermic syringe kit and its carrying box. These are designed to deliver a chemical or vaccine into muscle or blood vessel. The literal meaning of hypodermic is ‘under the skin’.

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Glass Bottles: Winchesters

Glass Bottles: Winchesters

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Winchesters are bottles of a gallon capacity, used for storage or for those chemicals of which larger quantities than the shop round bottles were needed.

This is one of a set of large bottles from the Christopher shop. They were made by Henry Ricketts in Redcliffe, Bristol to his 1825 patent for making...

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The Museum Collection: Photography

The Museum Collection: Photography

One of the main activities of a chemist shop was the supply of films and chemicals and the processing of films for members of the public. Richard Christopher was himself a keen photographer.

Click on the thumbnail pictures for a bigger view

One of Richard Christopher’s own cameras was this Goertz stereoscopic camera (left). It...

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The Museum Collection: Prescription books

The Museum Collection: Prescription books

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The Museum possesses a complete run of prescription books for its chemist shop, from the day it opened in 1863 until the day it closed in 1986.

Click on the thumbnail pictures to see a bigger view

The chemist made an entry for each prescription for medicine that was given to a...

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Glass bottles: syrup rounds

Glass bottles: syrup rounds

The syrup bottles in Bradford on Avon Museum’s pharmacy are of mouth-blown blue (cobalt) glass with flared necks to give easy pouring and loose-fitting stoppers that can be opened even if the syrup has stuck them to the opening. Each has a label with the contents in abbreviated Latin. Most of these mixtures were to be used in treating coughs or were ingredients of...

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Glass bottles: powder rounds

Glass bottles: powder rounds

Powder rounds are cylindrical bottles which have a wide mouth so that a spoon could be used to scoop out amounts of the contents. The bottles are usually mouth-blown, so have the pontil mark on the base where a rod was fixed so that the neck could be formed at the other end; in the poshest bottles the mark was polished away afterwards. The glass lids have been ground into the mouth so...

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The chemist shop history

In October 1863 Thomas Prideaux Saunders opened a chemist shop in Silver Street in Bradford on Avon. Right from the start he was supplying some of the leading families in and around the town. He must have had some good connections in Bradford, although he seems to have come from Wiveliscombe and had been born in Bruton, both in Somerset.

Saunders was only 45 in 1881, but his health was...

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