In Sickness and in Health
Wrexham Museum’s latest ‘Big Case’ display in Gallery 1 focuses on one aspect of life we all share sooner or later: health or rather ill-health and the various medicines we are prescribed and treatments we undergo.
Volunteers Mike Plant, Paula Plant, Sally Cresswell and Ann Thorman, assisted by the museum staff, searched the museum collection catalogue for objects connected to health and medicine, examined all the objects, agreed a priority list, researched the history of each artefact, and wrote labels and the touch screen interpretation.
Once museum staff had removed the previous display, the volunteers came to the museum after hours to install all the objects in the ‘Big Case’ in the main gallery.
Highlights of the display include:
- the decorative tincture and powder rounds (glass bottles) from Rowland’s Chemists in the High Street, Wrexham. Many of the medicines they contained were to cure the typically embarrassing symptoms that now feature in television programmes.
- surgical and medical equipment used by doctors, nurses, pharmacists and midwives
- recipe books used by the chemists at Rowlands to make up medicines including Crocodile ointment, Heartening Drinks, Nerve mixture, Toothache tincture and Hair restorer. Other recipes are for animals: Cough balls for horses, Colic drink for cattle, fly and maggot oil and mange ointment.
- and a carboy, one of those coloured glass bottles that all chemists used to have in their shop windows to represent the four ‘humours’
‘In Sickness and In Health’ is on show in the main gallery until Spring 2018. Admission to the museum is free.
The display has been dedicated to the memory of Paula Plant, one of the museum’s volunteers, who died from cancer before the project had been completed.
For more information, contact Wrexham Museum on 01978 297 460.