A cure for what ails you

Photograph of a pharmacy case from 1910 holding medicine vials

This is a 1910 pharmaceutical case produced by The Abbott Alkaloidal Company in Chicago. The folding case has loops to hold 12 small vials — two brown glass vials with rubber caps and 10 clear glass vials with cork stoppers. The vials contain “dosimetric granules,” an early form of pills created by Dr. Wallace C. Abbott, physician and pharmacy owner (History timeline, 2010).

(Note: these particular vials are not necessarily original to the kit.) Description of vials from left to right:

(1) Typho Bacterin Mulford, First immunizing dose containing 500 million killed typhoid bacilli, Lab. No. 26521A;

(2) Typho Bacterin Mulford, Second immunizing dose containing 1000 million killed typhoid bacilli, Lab. No. 29299A;Photograph of pharmacy vials from 1910

(3) label missing, granule residue;

(4) atropine sulfate, Gr. 1-500, (32) Gm. .000125, full of granules;

(5) Anticonstipation, (233) Waugh, Alkaloidal Formula;

(6) empty;

(7) Aloin, Gr. 1.12., (16) Gm. .005. [used as a laxative]

(8) Pilecarpine, Gr. 1-10, Gm. .01;

(9) Colchicine, Gr. 1-134, Gm. .0005.;  [used to treat gout]

(10) Quinine Arsenate, Gr. 1-67., (184) Gm. .001.;

(11) Morphine Sulfate, Gr. 1-12., (152) Gm. .005.;

(12) Anodyne (Waugh), (231) For Infants. [generic term for pain killer]


History timeline. (2010). Abbott Labs: Global health care & medical research. Retrieved March 8, 2011, from http://www.abbott.com/global/url/content/en_US/10.30:30/general_content/General_Content_00069.htm

(At UT Health Science Center Historical and Special Collections, we have initiated a project to identify items in a collection of medical artifacts.  If you have further information about the items highlighted, please comment.)