'Livingstone' medicine chest covered in cow hide, England, 1900-1910
This battered medicine chest was taken by Algot Lane, a Swedish-American explorer, on his 1911 expedition to the Amazon jungle in Brazil. Lange wrote a book about his exploration of the area in 1912 called In the Amazon Jungle: Adventures in the Remote Areas of the Upper Amazon Basin. Unsurprisingly, the chest contains is a large amount of quinine to help prevent and treat malaria, which was common in that area. The medicine chest was advertised as the ‘Livingstone’ chest after David Livingstone (1813-1873). It was made by Burroughs, Wellcome & Co, who provided medicine chests suitable for a wide range of expeditions – these were often provided free of charge for publicity reasons. It is pictured here with another ‘Livingstone’ medicine chest from the same expedition (A700016).
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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.