Royal Pharmaceutical Society Museum

Royal Pharmaceutical Society Museum The Royal Pharmaceutical Society Museum includes some 45,000 artefacts and 5,000 rare books and archived items illustrating the history of pharmacy.

Read museum Keeper John's new blog celebrating 50 years of the landmark asthma drug salbutamol.
15/06/2019
Salbutamol - landmark asthma treatment | Royal Pharmaceutical Society blog

Read museum Keeper John's new blog celebrating 50 years of the landmark asthma drug salbutamol.

2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the landmark asthma treatment Salbutamol becoming commercially available in the UK. Salbutamol is still widely used today to relieve symptoms of asthma and COPD such as coughing, wheezing and feeling breathless. It works by relaxing the muscles of the airways into....

14/06/2019
British Society for the History of Pharmacy

British Society for the History of Pharmacy

Carrying out research using historical Pharmaceutical Journals?
BSHP Committee member Kim Walker has very kindly compiled and shared online access details for available digitised 19th century volumes - really useful!
Thanks Kim 😊

'May the Cyanides flourish!' - student blazer from the London College of Pharmacy, around 1940. #MuseumTreasures
12/06/2019
Blazer of the London College of Pharmacy (around 1940)

'May the Cyanides flourish!' - student blazer from the London College of Pharmacy, around 1940. #MuseumTreasures

This blazer would have been worn by students of the London College of Pharmacy, which was founded in 1899, but it was not part of the official uniform.

Thank you to our amazing volunteers!
07/06/2019

Thank you to our amazing volunteers!

Peter, Norma and Julie, our fantastic and dedicated museum volunteers have catalogued over 800 objects for our members to enjoy!
Here is one of them.

Thank you! #VolunteersWeek

The History and Philosophy of Medicine & Pharmacy
03/06/2019

The History and Philosophy of Medicine & Pharmacy

#History of #Pharmacy @ApothecariesLDN @brionyhudson2 @PharmHist London 1-3 July 2019. Explore collections at Wellcome Library, ~Tour of @RCPLondon medicinal #gardens Tour of @rpharms talks on Pharmaceutical Industry & more. http://ow.ly/uzQU30o06NI

Granted 175 years ago, the Society's coat of arms - and all the pharmaceutical objects and symbols it contains - still w...
29/05/2019
Royal Pharmaceutical Society coat of arms (circa 1888)

Granted 175 years ago, the Society's coat of arms - and all the pharmaceutical objects and symbols it contains - still welcomes visitors to its London office. #MuseumTreasures

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society coat of arms was first granted in 1844.

British Society for the History of Pharmacy
24/05/2019

British Society for the History of Pharmacy

Would you like to spend 1, 2 or 3 days exploring a broad range of aspects of pharmacy history?

Are you interested in visiting the Wellcome Library, Royal College of Physicians, Royal Pharmaceutical Society Museum and the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries?

Do you enjoy learning new topics with a mix of talks, discussions, collections sessions and tours?

From Monday 1st to Wednesday 3rd July, BSHP and the Faculty for the History & Philosophy of Medicine & Pharmacy are running a 3 day course exploring the history of pharmacy and and pharmaceutical industry. Sessions include the history of the laboratory, using prescription registers as historical sources, materia medica & the British empire, delftware drug jars, and the Apothecaries' manufacturing trade, with speakers including as Tilli Tansey, Pratik Chakrabati and Anna Marie Roos. Alongside lectures, there are collections-based sessions at all 3 venues and tours of the medicinal garden at the RCP and the museum at the RPS.

Full price 3 day attendance is £240, with student fees £140. You can also opt into single day attendance.

All details & booking form on the Apothecaries' website - https://www.apothecaries.org/history-of-pharmacy-and-the-pharmaceutical-industry-three-day-course/

Today's #MuseumWeek theme is #PhotoMW. This early 1900s photograph is titled 'Pharmacist No. 9'. We think it might have ...
18/05/2019

Today's #MuseumWeek theme is #PhotoMW. This early 1900s photograph is titled 'Pharmacist No. 9'. We think it might have been taken in the Rotherham area by fellow pharmacist Robert Tildesley. Can anyone out there identify our mystery pharmacist? #IAmNotANumber #InternationalMuseumDay

South American cinchona bark became an official drug in England in 1677 when it appeared in the College of Physicians' L...
17/05/2019

South American cinchona bark became an official drug in England in 1677 when it appeared in the College of Physicians' London Pharmacopoeia for the first time. It contains quinine, the first effective anti-malarial and still on the World Health Organization (WHO)'s list of essential medicines today. #MuseumWeek #ExploreMW

This collection of colourful capsules was used by pharmacists at Guy's Hospital Drug Information Centre around 1950-1970...
16/05/2019

This collection of colourful capsules was used by pharmacists at Guy's Hospital Drug Information Centre around 1950-1970 to identify medication brought in by patients. #MuseumWeek #RainbowMW

We all know pharmacists work hard, but these photographs from the 1923 British Pharmaceutical Conference's sports day sh...
15/05/2019

We all know pharmacists work hard, but these photographs from the 1923 British Pharmaceutical Conference's sports day show that they can have fun too! What would a 2019 photo of pharmacists at play look like? #MuseumWeek #PlayMW #WomenInCulture

Tune in to Encounters with Victoria on BBC Radio 4 between 1:45 - 2:00 pm this afternoon to hear historians Lucy Worsley...
15/05/2019

Tune in to Encounters with Victoria on BBC Radio 4 between 1:45 - 2:00 pm this afternoon to hear historians Lucy Worsley, Helen Rappaport, and our very own John Betts discussing Prince Albert's medications.

Today's #MuseumWeek theme is #SecretsMW.Did you know the #RPSMuseum (pictured here in 1903) began in 1842 as a teaching ...
14/05/2019

Today's #MuseumWeek theme is #SecretsMW.

Did you know the #RPSMuseum (pictured here in 1903) began in 1842 as a teaching collection for pharmacy students? The Society's Librarian and part-time Curator Agnes Lothian expanded the collection in the mid-1900s to cover all aspects of #PharmHist! #WomenInCulture

This week is #MuseumWeek! We'll be posting on a different theme every day, with today's theme being #WomenInCulture.Wome...
13/05/2019

This week is #MuseumWeek! We'll be posting on a different theme every day, with today's theme being #WomenInCulture.

Women have always been active in pharmacy throughout history. This personification of the apothecary's trade from 1700 in our collection shows a woman with a mortar bodice, sleeves of medicine containers, and hat and dress adorned with medicinal plants.

Explore the often strained relationship between physicians and apothecaries in Tudor London and how it led to the creati...
23/04/2019

Explore the often strained relationship between physicians and apothecaries in Tudor London and how it led to the creation of the first London Pharmacopoeia in our new special exhibition. Now open!

On #InternationalCarrotDay, this 1830s caricature in our collection warns of the perils of taking too many of Morison's ...
04/04/2019

On #InternationalCarrotDay, this 1830s caricature in our collection warns of the perils of taking too many of Morison's Vegetable Pills.

It's the last of our #5WomenArtists posts for #WomensHistoryMonth and we've saved the most gruesome for last...This wax ...
30/03/2019

It's the last of our #5WomenArtists posts for #WomensHistoryMonth and we've saved the most gruesome for last...

This wax model is one of the most recognisable items on display in the museum. Depicting the unfortunate sufferer of 18 different conditions, The Consolation of Pharmacology was commissioned in 2015 for the Society's new premises in East Smithfield. It was created by Eleanor Crook, a sculptor and medical artist specialising in anatomical and pathological waxworks. Eleanor also hosts demonstrations and workshops on wax modelling and anatomical sculpture.

You can see more of Eleanor's works on her website: https://eleanorcrook.net/

Tamsin van Essen, a ceramic designer, created a series of contemporary apothecary jars inspired by the Royal Pharmaceuti...
23/03/2019

Tamsin van Essen, a ceramic designer, created a series of contemporary apothecary jars inspired by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s historical collection, for her final year project at Central St Martins College of Art and Design. The Medical Heirlooms collection included jars that seem to be suffering from a range of hereditary diseases rather than containing treatments to cure them. This jar - representing syphilis - has been “diseased” by adding salt. #WomensHistoryMonth #5WomenArtists

Scottish artist Anna Zinkeisen (1901-1976) came from a talented family - both she and her sister Doris had scholarships ...
16/03/2019

Scottish artist Anna Zinkeisen (1901-1976) came from a talented family - both she and her sister Doris had scholarships at the Royal Academy. Anna is probably best known today as a painter. Her work often has a medical theme, due to her position as a medical artist in the Second World War. Her portraits included nurses and ambulance officers, as well as more high-profile figures such as Alexander Fleming and this c.1975 portrait of Royal Pharmaceutical Society Past President Cyril Wheatley Maplethorpe. #WomensHistoryMonth #5WomenArtists

In the early 1800s London's drinking water was drawn from the Thames. Water filters like these were essential for making...
09/03/2019

In the early 1800s London's drinking water was drawn from the Thames. Water filters like these were essential for making the contaminated water drinkable. Made by Doulton, they were not only functional but decorative too. This example from around 1885 was designed by one of the company's top artists, Eliza Simmance, who was with the firm for 55 years. #WomensHistoryMonth #5WomenArtists

On #InternationalWomensDay we look at the role of women in early pharmacy in this Royal Pharmaceutical Society blog post...
08/03/2019
Women in early pharmacy | Royal Pharmaceutical Society blog

On #InternationalWomensDay we look at the role of women in early pharmacy in this Royal Pharmaceutical Society blog post.

There is an impression that women are something new in pharmacy, but nothing could be farther from the truth.

We'll be closed for maintenance this coming week on Tuesday 5 and Thursday 7 March. You can still see highlights from ou...
03/03/2019

We'll be closed for maintenance this coming week on Tuesday 5 and Thursday 7 March. You can still see highlights from our collections wherever you are by downloading our free iOS app: https://www.rpharms.com/resources/apps/rps-museum

March is #WomensHistoryMonth. A study carried out by the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington DC found tha...
02/03/2019

March is #WomensHistoryMonth. A study carried out by the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington DC found that most people can't name five women artists. Since 2016 the #5womenartists campaign has aimed to raise awareness of the under-representation of women in museums and galleries.

For each of the five Saturdays in March we'll be posting about an item in our collections by a female artist. Today we're looking at these dedication pages from Elizabeth Blackwell's Curious Herbal, published in the 1730s. Elizabeth was a Scottish artist who illustrated her herbal with medicinal plants drawn from life from samples in the Chelsea Physic Garden. She used the proceeds from sales of the book to secure her husband's release from a debtor's prison.

On this day 150 years ago, Fanny Elizabeth Potter became the first woman to qualify as a Chemist and Druggist by passing...
05/02/2019

On this day 150 years ago, Fanny Elizabeth Potter became the first woman to qualify as a Chemist and Druggist by passing one of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society's exams. Today over 60% of pharmacists are women.

Happy Chinese New Year! This year is the Year of the Pig so here are a couple of items from our veterinary medicine coll...
05/02/2019

Happy Chinese New Year! This year is the Year of the Pig so here are a couple of items from our veterinary medicine collection relating to our porky pals. #YearOfThePig

With the EU's Falsified Medicines Directive coming into force next month, here's a brief history of fake medicines from ...
28/01/2019
A brief history of fake medicines: ancient Greeks and trashy elixirs | Royal Pharmaceutical Society blog

With the EU's Falsified Medicines Directive coming into force next month, here's a brief history of fake medicines from our documentation assistant Matthew.

For as long as branded medicines have been around, authenticity has been important.As early as 500 BC, priestesses on the Greek island of Lemnos supplied tablets of medicinal clay, stamped with a special seal while still wet, in order to guarantee they were the genuine article.

Royal Pharmaceutical Society
24/12/2018

Royal Pharmaceutical Society

This mid 20th century medicated plaster for rheumatism and lumbago from the #RPSMuseum contains 20.25% frankincense and a small amount of myrrh. Very festive! https://rphar.ms/2M2XFkP #MuseumMonday #Christmas

We'd like to take this opportunity to wish all our followers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Our revised op...
23/12/2018

We'd like to take this opportunity to wish all our followers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Our revised opening days for the next couple of weeks are below but don't forget you can see highlights from our collection any time and wherever you are on the RPS Museum iOS app: https://www.rpharms.com/resources/apps/rps-museum

Monday 24 - Friday 28 December: CLOSED
Monday 31 December: Open 9 am - 5 pm
Tuesday 1 January: CLOSED
Wednesday 2 - Friday 4 January: Open 9 am - 5 pm

Royal Pharmaceutical Society
10/12/2018

Royal Pharmaceutical Society

This top quality Victorian home medicine chest in the #RPSMuseum was made around 1850 and contains medicines, weights and measures and a glass mortar and pestle. Beautiful! Come and visit us soon https://rphar.ms/2M2XFkP #MuseumMonday

Royal Pharmaceutical Society
06/12/2018

Royal Pharmaceutical Society

The development of glass production in the late 1700s meant that shop fronts could have larger windows. Pharmacies put carboys filled with brightly-coloured liquid in them to advertise the profession. Come and see this one in the #RPSMuseum https://rphar.ms/2M2XFkP #MuseumMonday.

On #WorldAIDSDay, RPS Museum Keeper John Betts takes a closer look at a 1984 leaflet in our collection aimed at the frie...
01/12/2018
World AIDS Day 2018: When a friend has AIDS | Royal Pharmaceutical Society blog

On #WorldAIDSDay, RPS Museum Keeper John Betts takes a closer look at a 1984 leaflet in our collection aimed at the friends and family of people living with AIDS.

by John Betts, RPS Museum, Keeper of the Museum Collections The history of pharmacy is usually thought of in terms of drug development and its ability to transform patient’s lives. Rarely do museums have an object in their collection that…Read more World AIDS Day 2018: When a friend has AIDS ›

We've written a blog for the RCP Museum about medicines advertising targeting mothers, as part of their current exhibiti...
30/11/2018
Royal College of Physicians Museum

We've written a blog for the RCP Museum about medicines advertising targeting mothers, as part of their current exhibition looking at 500 years of women in medicine. Details below!

Making mothers feel guilty that they're not doing a good enough children: it's a mean advertising trick and one with a long history. Today's guest post comes from Royal Pharmaceutical Society Museum and looks and medical adverts aimed at women.

Pharmacist Edward Frank Harrison saved thousands of lives during the First World War by developing the first sophisticat...
11/11/2018
Edward Frank Harrison - a pharmacy war hero | Royal Pharmaceutical Society blog

Pharmacist Edward Frank Harrison saved thousands of lives during the First World War by developing the first sophisticated gas mask. Find out more in the latest RPS blog.

by Matthew Johnston, RPS Museum If asked to list influential figures in the history of the First World War, few would probably know the name of Edward Frank Harrison. But it was Harrison who was responsible for saving the lives…Read more Edward Frank Harrison – a pharmacy war hero ›

How does this drug jar link a Jesuit monastery with a 9th century Persian physician? Find out in this month's Museum Tre...
24/10/2018
Italian wet drug jar ‘SY. DI. POMIS’, dated 1605

How does this drug jar link a Jesuit monastery with a 9th century Persian physician? Find out in this month's Museum Treasures article in The Pharmaceutical Journal.

This jar’s label is surmounted by a ‘YHS’ monogram and a cross — the mark of the Company of Jesuits.

Shown here aged 107, William Wilson or 'Mortar Willie' was a drug grinder in Edinburgh in the late 1700s and early 1800s...
09/10/2018
'William Wilson, commonly called Mortar Willie, aged 107': coloured etching and aquatint

Shown here aged 107, William Wilson or 'Mortar Willie' was a drug grinder in Edinburgh in the late 1700s and early 1800s. This print by John Kay is The Pharmaceutical Journal's latest Museum Treasure.

This print, drawn, etched and published by John Kay of Edinburgh in 1815, depicts a drug grinder by the name of William Wilson (1709–1815), who was also known as ‘Mortar Willie’.

This 1880s advertising model for Pears Soap is the latest Museum Treasure featured by The Pharmaceutical Journal.
13/09/2018
'You Dirty Boy!', 1800s

This 1880s advertising model for Pears Soap is the latest Museum Treasure featured by The Pharmaceutical Journal.

Alongside medicines, pharmacists have also historically sold other products such as perfumes, cosmetics, and toiletries.

As #FIP2018 draws to a close, here's a delegate badge from the 1925 British Pharmaceutical Conference held in Glasgow. T...
06/09/2018

As #FIP2018 draws to a close, here's a delegate badge from the 1925 British Pharmaceutical Conference held in Glasgow. The design includes a Scottish thistle and a piece of tartan ribbon. The RPS now has its own tartan, registered in 1991 for the Society's 150th anniversary.

https://www.rpharms.com/events/fip-glasgow-2018

The 1868 Pharmacy Act meant that the sale of poisons was restricted to those registered with the Pharmaceutical Society....
05/09/2018

The 1868 Pharmacy Act meant that the sale of poisons was restricted to those registered with the Pharmaceutical Society. This log book from a pharmacy on the old Parliamentary Road in Glasgow was begun in 1872 and records every sale of a scheduled poison up to 1936. #FIP2018

https://www.rpharms.com/events/fip-glasgow-2018

(Find out more about the 1868 Pharmacy Act in our recent article for The Pharmaceutical Journal: https://www.pharmaceutical-journal.com/your-rps/anniversary-of-the-pharmacy-act-150-years-of-medicines-safety/20205261.article)

This year marks the 400th anniversary of the London Pharmacopoeia, the first official list of medicines produced by the ...
03/09/2018

This year marks the 400th anniversary of the London Pharmacopoeia, the first official list of medicines produced by the Royal College of Physicians. Other cities later followed suit. Pictured here is the first page of the 1850 third edition of the Glasgow Pharmacopoeia, from the #RPSLibrary collection. #FIP2018

https://www.rpharms.com/events/fip-glasgow-2018

The FIP World Congress opens today in Glasgow. To celebrate, we'll be sharing objects from our collections with Glasgow ...
02/09/2018

The FIP World Congress opens today in Glasgow. To celebrate, we'll be sharing objects from our collections with Glasgow links every day during the conference.

First up is this trade token issued by Dr Stuart of Maxwell Street, Glasgow, in 1841, showing a medicine bottle labelled 'PANACEA' (cure-all). Tokens like these were issued in lieu of small change. They could only be spent in the establishment they had been issued by - an early loyalty scheme! #FIP2018

https://www.rpharms.com/events/fip-glasgow-2018

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66-68 East Smithfield
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Wednesday 09:00 - 17:00
Thursday 09:00 - 17:00
Friday 09:00 - 17:00

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