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.
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British Society for the History of Pharmacy
02/01/2020

British Society for the History of Pharmacy

Hoping that all of our followers have had an excellent start to 2020!

What pharmacy history milestones are you marking this year? To get you started, it's the 200th anniversary of the US Pharmacopoeia, the centenary of the UK's Dangerous Drugs Act, the 70th birthday of chlorpromazine (Largactil) and 10 years since the General Pharmaceutical Council was established.

An iconic symbol of pharmacy. #MuseumTreasures
05/11/2019
The carboy: a pharmacy icon

An iconic symbol of pharmacy. #MuseumTreasures

The carboy is one of pharmacy’s most iconic objects.

Find out how some of our current research is going in this latest blog by documentation assistant Matthew. #BlackHistory...
24/10/2019
Uncovering hidden histories at the RPS Museum | Royal Pharmaceutical Society blog

Find out how some of our current research is going in this latest blog by documentation assistant Matthew. #BlackHistoryMonth

by Matthew Johnston, RPS Museum Part of our work here at the RPS Museum includes researching various aspects of pharmacy history so we can enrich our displays, tours and articles, especially those areas that are currently under-represented in the museum.…Read more Uncovering hidden histories at th...

Just a reminder that our Up Close and Medical event with the London Museums of Health and Medicine is happening THIS SAT...
21/10/2019

Just a reminder that our Up Close and Medical event with the London Museums of Health and Medicine is happening THIS SATURDAY! Come on over between 2-5 pm. As well as our Victorian pill-making workshop you'll be able to try out your surgery skills with the Hunterian Museum, learn how to insert a breathing tube with the Association of Anaesthetists, test your hand hygiene with the Science Museum, and much more! https://events.rpharms.com/website/785/

The pill machine: Victorian dispensing at its finest! #MuseumTreasuresCome and have a go at using one of these at our Up...
03/10/2019
Pill machine, 18th Century

The pill machine: Victorian dispensing at its finest! #MuseumTreasures

Come and have a go at using one of these at our Up Close and Medical event on Saturday 26 October! More details on the RPS website: https://events.rpharms.com/website/785/

Before factory production became commonplace in medicine, dispensing was considered an art and pill machines such as these were a vital component of any chemist’s collection.

Open House tours are well underway! Last one is at 3 pm so still time to come along!
21/09/2019

Open House tours are well underway! Last one is at 3 pm so still time to come along!

We're looking forward to seeing those of you who are visiting us for Open House tomorrow. Free museum tours 11 am - 4 pm...
20/09/2019

We're looking forward to seeing those of you who are visiting us for Open House tomorrow. Free museum tours 11 am - 4 pm (last tour 3 pm) and a chance to see some of the RPS Library's early books!

Now open: our new special exhibition looks at the development of landmark asthma drug salbutamol, fifty years on from it...
09/09/2019

Now open: our new special exhibition looks at the development of landmark asthma drug salbutamol, fifty years on from its launch.

Royal Pharmaceutical Society
02/09/2019

Royal Pharmaceutical Society

Can't get to the #RPSMuseum during the week? We'll be open on Saturday 21 September as part of @openhouselondon. Free museum tours and a chance to see some of the #RPSLibrary's early books! https://openhouselondon.open-city.org.uk/listings/7230 #MuseumMonday #OpenHouseLondon

How did astrology influence healthcare in the early modern period? Read The Pharmaceutical Journal's latest #MuseumTreas...
19/08/2019
Drug jar, syrup of wild poppy (1730–1750)

How did astrology influence healthcare in the early modern period? Read The Pharmaceutical Journal's latest #MuseumTreasures feature to find out more.

Paying homage to a time where medicines and astronomy were thought to go hand in hand.

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

Address

66-68 East Smithfield
London
E1W 1AW

Opening Hours

Monday 09:00 - 17:00
Tuesday 09:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 09:00 - 17:00
Thursday 09:00 - 17:00
Friday 09:00 - 17:00

Telephone

020 7572 2210

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Is the RPS museum the only pharmacy museum in London?
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If your interest in this topic goes back to the Greeks and Romans, you may like this free 6-week online course which includes reconstructions of ancient remedies!