Royal Pharmaceutical Society
FILE: Exterior of Royal Pharmaceutical Society building in London

From the informative to the fascinating, the collection of exhibits that make up the Royal Pharmaceutical Society ’s (RPS) museum collection reopened at the Society’s London headquarters on Monday (May 16).

The museum, which has been closed to the public for two years, boasts one of the largest collections of historical pharmacy exhibits in the country.

The 181-year-old museum features a host of amazing objects from the 1400s up to the present day that dramatically illustrate just how far modern medicine has come.

From poison bottles and medieval textbooks, to trade tokens and pottery, the museum is there for everybody.

Museum exhibits include finding out about ceramic ‘bear’ jars containing bear oil, which was once thought to be a remedy for baldness, exploring what nineteenth Century ‘asthma cigarettes’ were used for, and finding out why a stuffed Nile crocodile was the symbol for the apothecary.

The museum showcases the unique history of the development of drugs for medical treatment, alongside the evolution of the pharmacy profession in Britain, and the role RPS played in its development.

RPS museum officer Catherine Walker said: “I’m delighted that this historic museum is reopening to the public from today. Not only are there some weird and wonderful pieces for absolutely anybody to view and explore, the museum also a fantastic educational tool.

“We’ve worked extremely hard to move the museum online, so that it is accessible for everyone. There’s nothing like getting up close to some of these bizarre and fascinating artifacts. I really hope members and the public will once again use this fantastic space.”

One can also browse the collection online.

The museum is open to members of the public during office hours.

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