Havering Museum

Medicine Cabinet

This display was put together for the In Sickness and in Health exhibition, but has been left intact for a little while longer due to its popularity. It shows a display of the sorts of medicines that would have been available to folk living in Havering in the middle of the 20th Century.

Some of the bottles and tins are much older, yet the names on their labels are familiar to older generations; Goddard’s, Sloane’s, Bile Beans and Allen & Hanbury’s, etc. Some survive today, like Elastoplast and Beecham’s. 

Many of these so-called medicines were no better than quack cures, although the people who used them believed they were beneficial. Others, like laudanum, would be considered dangerous today.

 The most toxic medicines were kept in special poison bottles, which were made of coloured glass and often shaped or textured, so those that could not read were warned.  Examples of these may be seen at the very top of the case. Image

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