Medical kit used by Ernest Shackleton, London, England, 1907
This kit was used by Sir Ernest Shackleton (1874-1922), a British explorer, during his 1907-1909 expedition to the Antarctic, which was his first attempt to locate the South Pole. Although he was unsuccessful, he did map some of the area extensively. Inside the leather wallet are bandages, a thermometer, plasters, safety pins and medical treatments of the day, including soda mint and cascara sagrada tablets (laxatives). Also paregoric tablets, a pain reliever made from an alcoholic preparation of opium. Medical equipment, first aid kits and medicine chests like this one were made by Burroughs, Wellcome & Co and given to influential people and explorers in an attempt to advertise the product. It is shown here with a 'Tabloid' medicine chest used on the 1910 British Antarctic Expedition (A700020).
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Glossary: medicine chest
Small chests fitted for bottles and intended to hold medical supplies; of a type made in the 18th and early 19th centuries.