Friday, May 15, 2015

New Orleans Pharmacy Museum - 5/12/15

When you travel with our daughter, Amanda, you can be sure to see lots of interesting and unusual stuff! This is one of the places she wanted to check out, and I found it fascinating.

A pharmacy was opened in 1823 at this location on Chartres Street (near the Cathedral) in the French Quarter by Louis J. Dufihol, Jr. This museum claims that he was the first licensed pharmacist in 1816.  He managed the pharmacy and lived in this creole townhouse. He had a botanical garden in the courtyard that still exists today.

There are exhibits on two floors of the building with a tour at 1:00 pm Tuesday through Saturday. There are many apothecary jars that contain drugs, herbs, and voodoo powders on display. They are housed in beautiful hand-carved mahogany fixtures from Germany.

I would not want to an injection using one of these hypodermic needles. Ouch!

There was lots of interesting information about the use of opium, cocaine, marijuana, tobacco, and alcohol for medical treatments.

Leeches were also distributed by pharmacists to treat high blood pressure and other ailments by "drawing out the sickness" with those creepy creatures.

The love potions were herbs that were intended to be sewn into your clothing, pillow or sprinkled around the house, not ingested. They were labeled by number so as not to embarrass the purchasers, hence the famous song "Love Potion #9."

There was an interesting exhibit about midwives in the 1800s and their "tools." Fortunately, they understood that cleanliness was extremely important! C-sections at that time were only performed in an attempt to save a baby/babies after the mother had died in childbirth.

On the second floor are additional apothecary jar displays as well as a large spectacle collection including glass eyes used at that time.

On of the most impressive items on display is a rare Italian black and rose marble soda fountain (circa 1855) for nectar soda and fruit phosphates. During this time period the local drug store became a social center for a neighborhood.

An admission fee of $5/adults and $4/seniors is requested. Check out their website for additional information and hours of operation.


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