Wednesday, April 15, 2015

A Travelling Medicine Chest for 1827

Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Medicine Chest 1805
Loretta reports:

You may be interested to learn that improving stale beer falls under the category of Medicine, though this is not quite as exciting as the advice regarding lancets.  Note also the product placement.
Travelling Medicine Chests have been fitted up in a variety of forms : however, so many circumstances arise which it is impossible to foresee ... that all that the most wary Traveller can do, is by timely attention to the First Symptoms of Disorder, to prevent the increase of it: for this purpose, he will rarely require more than Salts—Rhubarb—Sal Volatile—and Sticking Plaster.

A Lancet is indeed necessary for a Traveller, because a Lancet which has been used in bleeding a person afflicted with an Infectious Disease may inoculate any other who may be bled with it a short time afterwards— and so may a Razor which has shaved a diseased person.

Carbonate of Soda is useful: you may occasionally get good Beer*, excepting that it is a little Stale, which this will correct; but the best Beverage for Travellers, is half of a common-sized Wine Glass; or One ounce of Brandy in a common-sized Tumbler; or Eight ounces, or half-a-pint of Water.

Strong Peppermint Lozenges are excellent Stomach warmers, and very comforting companions in Cold Weather; — they will often stop Sea-sickness, and will fortify your Stomach when you have to fast longer than usual. They are made by Smith, Fell Street, Wood Street, Cheapside...

Some Biscuits ; for the Languor felt when the Stomach is empty, may often be removed by eating a Biscuit; and when it can be so appeased, it is a more innocent way of amusing it, than by winding it up with Wine; however, it is more advisable to give it both, than to suffer the Circulation to go down.

* We can tell you where you can get good beer in London—at Field's, No. 22, Henrietta Street, Covent Garden. Brown Stout, Burton Ale, and Cider Superlative, quite as agreeable to the Mouth, and ten times more so to the Stomach, than half of the Champagne that is now sold.  —John Jervis, The Traveller’s Oracle (1827)
Image: Medicine chest, winged front, from Reece's Medical Hall, Pic Credit: Science Museum, London. Wellcome Images, Wellcome Library, London. Description: Medicine chest, winged front, from Reece's Medical Hall, Piccadilly, with 30 painted glass bottles and 4 drawers, 5 confection glasses, 1 probang, 3 boxes, 1 plaster spreader, 1 seal, 1 spatula, 1 bowl, 1 pill tile, 1 fleam, 1 lancet, 2 syringes, 4 visiting cards, 1 receipt and engraved plate, c1805.

Clicking on the image will enlarge it.  Clicking on the caption will allow you to view at the source, where you can learn more and enlarge images as needed.


Hels said...

Not for the poor, I think. The wealthy traveller would have to afford one member of staff to carry his trunk and another man to carry the medicine chest.

Karen Anne said...

Queen Victoria's wedding gown is several slides in here:

Two Nerdy History Girls. Design by Pocket