Bottled Up

The lobby of UConn’s Pharmacy/Biology building is lined with beautiful and mysterious bottles from the 1600s to mid-1900s. They held remedies in the form of liquids, salves, and powders.

Click the icons on the bottles to reveal more information.

The bottles shown below are from the early 1900s, excepting cannabis, which is likely from the 1880s-90s. The cannabis bottle (in center) would have held a mixture of alcohol, medicine, and cannabis to alleviate body pain, according to former pharmacy professor Allan Viner ’59 (PHARM).

tintures and bottles sit inside a wooden cabinet

Cantharidal Vesicant – a Johnson & Johnson product used as a topical treatment for some skin conditions

Sedlitz Chanteaud – a French anti acid powder you would mix with water, was sold in pharmacies throughout the U.S.

Sulphate jars – The Merck Chemical Producing Company gave away these jars called “inverted show bottles” simply for decoration. They came in a range of colors and were not sold or prescribed.

Cannabis bottle – would have held a mixture of alcohol, medicine, and cannabis used to alleviate body pain.

Brandreth Pills – An over-the-counter laxative medication that would have been found in the front of all pharmacies.

Haywood’s Powder – An asthma remedy that likely was heated up and inhaled to clear nasal congestion.

Hair Remedy – A liquid-based solution used as a scalp and hair rejuvenator.

Sun & Moon ointment – Ointment used for bruises and cuts manufactured in Hartford, Conn., around the 1920s to ’30s.

Cuticura Resolvent – An alcohol mixture used to reduce stomach acid.

Stuart’s – This was also used to alleviate stomach acidity. It was sold in the 1920s to 30s.

Photo by Peter Morenus

Glass continues to play an integral role in the pharmaceutical universe, so much so that UConn uses a glassblower to create custom glasswork when necessary.


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