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Sir James Reid's medicine chest, England, 1881-1923

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Sir James Reid (1849-1923) was personal physician to Queen Victoria from 1881 until her death in 1901. The leather chest contains a range of medication, including opium-based painkillers, laxatives and Dover’s powders, which were a remedy for colds. The drugs and medicine chest were made by Burroughs, Wellcome and Co, who supplied a wide range of medicine chests and first aid kits often to influential people and explorers in a shrewd attempt to promote the product. It is pictured here with another Burroughs, Wellcome & Co chest (1981-1008).

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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.