W.S. Merrill Manuscript: Private Receipts

About the Project

W.S. Merrill’s 1878 Private Receipts Book, a manuscript containing recipes for remedies, is a portal into the medical needs of 19th century New England. Druggists, as opposed to formal medical practitioners, were just becoming respected professionals about this time after years of often being consigned to quackery. From his druggist shop in the First National Bank Building in Danvers, Massachusetts, Merrill mixed powders and tinctures for everything from cologne to coughs to poison ivy and hair loss. Whether a ‘simple elixir’ was needed or the client was a cow with sore udders, Merrill had a recipe at hand.

A volunpeer has provided this helpful resource for translating the meaning of each apothecary/pharmacist symbol: http://www.textcreationpartnership.org/docs/dox/medical.html.

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