The chemist's shop

Most of the items in this section came from the store cupboard of David A Ross, who ran a chemist's shop in Tain High Street in the 1920s and 30s. He was followed as pharmacist by his nephew and then great-nephew, who still runs the shop today.

The medicines ahown are off-the-shelf remedies that were in common use before the advent of the National Health Service. Some of them make remarkable claims about the beneficial effects they can have, and some contain ingredients that would be regarded as dubious or dangerous today.

David Ross's shop in 1936
David Ross's shop in 1936

The shop today
The shop today
 

Apothecaries' weights
A tiny card box containing six apothecaries' weights for weighing out small quantities...

Catarrh syrup
A bottle of Rayglo Chronic Catarrh Syrup. As well as containing creosote, an extract of ta...

Celery pills
A cardboard tube of celery pills, made up in the shop and used against rheumatism.

Chlorophyll tablets
A bottle of chlorophyll tablets for anaemia and chlorosis, a particular form of anaemia. T...

Cinnabar powder
A bottle of pink cinnabar powder (sulphide of mercury). Today this is used as a pigment an...

Cinnamon and quinine medicine
A bottle of concentrated cinnamon and quinine medicine, "the rapid cold, flu and chill cur...

Congo Red powder
A tiny bottle of Congo Red powder, "shown by biological test to be free from undue toxicit...

Digestive syrup
A bottle of Mother Seigel's Digestive Syrup, made by A J White, London. This was a proprie...

Eye bath
The "Boval Improved Eye Bath", a green glass eye bath in its original box.

Flatulence tablets
A tin of tablets for treating a common complaint - gas in the intestines. The tin is marke...

Fuller's Earth
A cardboard tub of Fuller's Earth in pretty packaging. It was for use in the nursery and t...

Gaseodyne liquid
A bottle of Gaseodyne liquid, a morphine based painkiller for ewes during lambing. The loc...

Gout pills
A glass bottle of Bishop's Gout Pills in a cardboard tube. These were used against gout, r...

High blood pressure tablets
A bottle of Noxco tablets for high blood pressure in its original box. According to the pa...

Hyoscine tablets
A hexagonal ridged green glass bottle containing hyoscine tablets. Hyoscine is a poisonous...

Inhaler
A white ceramic inhaler with a cork stopper and curved spout. The front is stamped: The Mi...

Iodine paint
A small hexagonal ridged green bottle of Strong Iodine Paint. This was applied to grazes, ...

Iodine pencils
A small leather case containing cardboard pencils tipped with iodine, rather like a book o...

Medicine glass
A small glass with a pouring lip and on a short stem, engraved with measuring marks for on...

Morning Salt
A large bottle of Morning Salt, made up by David Ross. It was "a valuable aperient [laxati...

Pill rolling machine
A two part device made of mahogany and brass for rolling pills. The bottom has a brass pla...

Robertson's Electric Oil
A bottle of Robertson's Electric Oil in its original box, marked "Destroys pain". This ama...

Soloid alkaline compound
A triangular ridged brown glass bottle containing alkaline tablets to be dissolved in a "s...

Thermal liniment
A bottle of HB Thermal Liniment in its original box. This was used to relieve aches and pa...

Warble fly repellant
A bottle of warble fly repellant for cattle, another veterinary product supplied by the ch...

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Tain & District Museum is home to an extensive and varied collection of objects, photographs and archives of local, regional and national significance. Because of the relatively limited exhibition space, only a small proportion of the collection is on display at any one time. Our website allows us to make more of the Collection accessible to all.

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