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The New Orleans Pharmacy Museum

If you go to New Orleans add a trip to the Pharmacy Museum as a must. And go for the guided tour - which currently is scheduled for 1pm. The museum is in a small house in the French Quarter that I believe is the site of the first licensed apothecary sshop in the US started by Louis J. Dufilho, Jr, the first to pass the licencing exam.

A bunch of went there as part of the soc.motss con. The guide - proprietor/owner I think, was incredible - informative and entertaining. He talked for about an hour explaining much about the history of medicine in the nineteenth century and describing the contents of the place. It is full of instruments, bottles of drugs, posters, and other paraphernalia. Of course in those days no-one really knew anything. Infections, what are they? He said that people liked to go to surgeons (barbers usually) who had dirty blood-crusted instruments - someone who had clean instruments was clearly not popular so must not be any good. Cocaine, heroin (drug's new name, "heroin," based on the German heroisch, which means "heroic, strong") were some of the popular drugs and there were many patent medicines. For the rich they had some gold-plated pills which of course didn't get the drug absorbed which was a good thing since most of the drugs were bad for you. There was a bottle of Moxie there invented in 1876 as a patent medicine called Moxie Nerve Food, now still available as a soft drink.

There is a back courtyard (which according to website can be rented for weddings and other events). Upstairs there was a bedroom - sometimes used for patients.

As I said, go there.

Click here for pictures:
PharmacyMuseumFlickrSet.jpg

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I love Moxie. You can't get it here, of course. Sounds like an interesting museum.

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