clear glass bottles and green and blue hexagonal glass bottles with stoppers

Is it poisonous?

Old poison bottles tend to be made from blue or green glass, they also have a distinct hexagonal shape with ridged surface. This was because before electricity looking for medicines by candlelight could be a dangerous thing. To stop unnecessary poisonings pharmacists came up with distinctive shapes with glass manufacturers so that you could ‘feel’ the difference and know that you were handling a poisonous substance.

Brown or amber glass medicine bottles help to protect contents from UV rays (sunlight) and are ideal for light sensitive products or liquids. They are still clear enough so you can see the contents and how much you have left whilst protecting what’s inside.

Other images from our pharmacy collection, show steam infusers and traditional scales. These balancing scales consist of two plates hung at equal distance from the middle fulcrum. One plate holds a known weight metal shape (some of these are so fine they are small pieces) and then you can place your ingredients in the opposite plate; when they level off you know they are equal and weigh the same!


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