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Dispensing pot, London, England, 1720-1780

Dispensing pots were used to hold ointments, pills and medical treatments, although they could also be used for other materials such as cosmetics. A pharmacist or apothecary would make up a medicine and put it in a pot for the customer to take away. The contents were usually protected by a paper cover secured with string. This example has the word “Caloffs” painted on the side. No trace of “Caloffs” has been found but it may relate to a pharmacist, maker of the pots or refer to the contents.

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Glossary: dispensing pot

pot used to contain ointments, medications, perfumes

Glossary: pharmacy

The preparation and medicinal dispensing of drugs.