Shop sign advertising goods in a pharmacy, England, 1801-1900
All the items advertised by the metal sign might typically be found in a pharmacy in the 1800s. These include patent medicines – some of which were likely to have limited health benefits – medicated lozenges, infant foods and feeding bottles. Like many modern chemists, the shop also stocked non-medical items – in this case ink. Leeches were also sold there. These were used for bloodletting, a centuries old practice once used to treat a wide range of medical conditions.
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Glossary: shop sign
Use broadly for signs identifying places of business.
A type of worm that possesses suckers at both ends of its body. Formerly widely used for letting blood, the medicinal leech may now be used following microsurgery to encourage the growth of new capillaries. Leeches are found in tropical forests, grasslands and in water.