The Historical Apothecary Compendium: A Guide to Terms and Symbols

Daniel A. Goldstein

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This comprehensive, illustrated handbook is intended for collectors of apothecary bottles and other pharmaceutical and medical paraphernalia, covering artifacts likely to appear in North America and the United Kingdom from early Colonial times through approximately 1920. The book contains by far the largest compendium of terms used on apothecary bottles and other wares, comprising over 10,000 entries. Introductory materials provide instructions for use of the compendium, a concise history of apothecary containers and labels, and definitions and discussions of archaic terms for apothecary processes, weights and measures, therapeutic actions, and disease states. Appendices cover apothecary Latin, alchemy and alchemical symbols, astrological symbols, bottle manufacturers, and botanical terms. Illustrations are provided for various types of bottles and containers, apothecary devices, and for nearly 300 botanical species.

Size: 9" x 12" | 331 color and b/w images | 336 pp
ISBN13: 9780764349263

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As a child in Milwaukee, the author was fascinated with the beauty of his mother's small collection of apothecary bottles and intrigued by the mysterious Latin inscriptions. These original bottles are now part of an extensive personal collection of apothecary and patent-medicine containers. Following high school-—with three years of Latin-—he pursued studies in chemistry and molecular biology at University of Wisconsin and subsequently trained in Medicine at Johns Hopkins University and in Medical Toxicology and Clinical Pharmacology at the University of Toronto and pursued a career in medical, industrial, and environmental toxicology. While recuperating from an illness in 2004, his lifelong interests in Latin, bottle collecting, apothecary history, medicine, and pharmacology converged to create a collector’s manual and compendium of terms for use by apothecary collectors. The result of that effort, over a decade in the making and reflecting the author’s love of the subject, is now in hand.