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Bottle of Salvarsan treatment for syphilis, London, England, 1909-1914

Salvarsan was a synthetic drug produced to treat the STI syphilis. The drug was developed by Paul Ehrlich (1854-1915), a German medical scientist and his team in 1909 after three years of research. German manufacturers had the monopoly on producing this wonder drug. With the outbreak of the First World War, British companies had to develop manufacturing techniques to supply the demand for Salvarsan. The only company with the capability to do so was Burroughs, Wellcome & Co. They produced Salvarsan under the brand name ‘Kharsivan’ from 1914 onwards.

Object number:

E2008.150.9

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Glossary:

Glossary: syphilis

A sexually transmitted infection resulting in the formation of lesions throughout the body.

Glossary: sexually transmitted infection

Any disease transmitted by sexual intercourse. STIs include HIV/AIDS, syphilis, gonorrhoea, some chlamydia infections and genital herpes.

Glossary: syphilis treatment

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