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'Tabloid' medicine chest used on Dr Hamilton Rice's Amazonia

Science Museum, London

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Credit: 'Tabloid' medicine chest used on Dr Hamilton Rice's Amazonia. Credit: Science Museum, London. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

About this work


This chest was carried by Alexander Hamilton Rice (1875-1956), an American explorer, during his Fifth Amazonian Expedition in 1919. The chest contains quinine products to treat malaria, Aspirin, sleeping tablets, bandages, syringes and opium pain killers. Opium is an addictive drug made from poppies. Rice began exploring the Amazon Basin in South America in 1907 and mapped a large number of previously unknown rivers in the north-western area of the basin. He carried out seven expeditions in all, the last in 1924-1925. ‘Tabloid’ medicine chests made by Burroughs, Wellcome & Co were given to influential people and explorers in a shrewd attempt to advertise the product. The tradename ‘tabloid’ referred to the compressed nature of the drugs and the name lives on today in the world of daily newspapers. maker: Burroughs Wellcome and Company Place made: London, Greater London, England, United Kingdom


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