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Dispensing pot for Holloway's ointment, England, 1839-1867

‘Holloway’s Ointment’ was invented and made by Thomas Holloway (1800-83) from 1837 onwards. It was a popular universal cure for a number of ailments advertised on the pot, including gout, rheumatism, ulcers, sore breasts and a sore head. The trade mark of the company (shown on the pot on the far left) is possibly a representation of Hygeia, a Greek muse, who has a rod of Asklepios on one side and a child with a board displaying the words “Don’t Despair” on the other. This dispensing pot would have been filled with the ointment and taken home by the customer. Thomas Holloway amassed a great fortune from his patent medicines. In 1879 he sponsored the building of Holloway College for the Higher Education of Women in Egham in Surrey, England. It was renamed in 1886 as Royal Holloway College and is now part of the University of London. It is shown here with two similar examples (A640031 and A640044).

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Glossary: dispensing pot

pot used to contain ointments, medications, perfumes