The Christopher Pharmacy

The Christopher Pharmacy

 

The shop is the reason for the Museum’s existence. When Miss Christopher was to retire in 1986, the shop would close for good and all its antique features would be sold off and dispersed, or consigned to a skip. With help from a grant from the Science Museum the newly-formed Museum Society purchased the furniture and old contents. A recreation of the shop was built...

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Pharmacy equipment: Unguent jars

Pharmacy equipment: Unguent jars

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The Christopher Pharmacy, Bradford on Avon Museum

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Creams and ointments -medicines mixed into fats and emulsified oils- which were mainly for treating skin complaints, were kept in ceramic jars with lids. Inevitably the lids got broken, so most...

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Pharmacy equipment: shop rounds

Shop rounds are the bottles that line the shelves of the chemist shop. They contain the ingredients of most of the everyday medicines made in the shop: tinctures, essences, powders, oils.

Tincture rounds have narrow necks for pouring liquids. This contains Tinctura Stramonii -tincture of thorn-apple, a poisonous plant.

Powder rounds have...

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Pharmacy equipment- Pill machines

Pharmacy equipment- Pill machines

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The Christopher Pharmacy at Bradford on Avon Museum, Wiltshire

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The word pill is now used loosely of almost every solid form of medicine, but it really refers to a spherical object. The usual modern flat “pill” is more correctly called a...

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Pharmacy equipment – Tincture presses

Pharmacy equipment – Tincture presses

Tinctures are extracts that are made from plant material -wood, bark, roots, seeds, stems and leaves- prepared by boiling or soaking in water, alcohol or other liquids to release the medicinal chemicals they contain. This stage of the process is called maceration.

The screw presses are used to crush the macerated source plant to get as much of the active ingredients as possible, which...

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Pharmacy equipment: Powders

Pharmacy equipment: Powders

Taking medicine in the form of a powder, usually stirred into a glass of water, was more normal in the past than today, especially on the continent. Now you might take Andrews’ salts or a hangover cure such as Resolve.

Powders are made by grinding and mixing the ingredients in a mortar, then weighing or measuring them into doses.

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Chemists & Druggists

Chemists & Druggists

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Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire

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Bradford on Avon Museum’s main exhibit is the reconstructed Christopher chemist shop. There were and are others in Bradford, oddly all in Silver Street too, as well as grocers who sold patent medicines.

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