Drawings and designs are an essential part of the history of pharmacy. Whether it's imparting knowledge in medieval herbals, stamping their authority on regulations and standards, or promoting their wares in adverts and signs, apothecaries and pharmacists have always understood the value of graphic imagery.
The beautiful and mysterious illustrations in medieval herbals convey a wealth of knowledge about the plants they portray.
Charming family scenes in Victorian ads for children’s medicines were at odds with some of the dangerous ingredients they contained.
The name theriac survived for around for two millennia as a pharmaceutical term. But a ‘brand’ name is not always a guarantee of quality.
James Morison’s campaign against the medical establishment inspired a wave of caricatures mocking his quack medicine.
About the author
Julia is a Collections Researcher at Wellcome Collection with a background in art history. She co-curated the content within the Reading Room and has assisted with content selection for ‘Bedlam’, ‘Electricity: The spark of life’ and ‘Can Graphic Design Save Your Life?’