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The Medicine Chest


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  • Chlorate of Potash

    This packet of Chlorate of Potash was purchased from the local Heynes, Mathew and Co. shop in Cape Town by Walter Floyd. The company would have been a competitor of Burroughs Wellcome and Co. at the time. Established at the beginning of the 20th century, their 6 stories high premises were situated at the corner of Adderley and Longmarket Streets. Similar to BWC, they manufactured numerous specialities for their trade, and were agents also for many remedies with international reputation.
  • No. 254. 'Tabloid' Brand Medicine Chest (The Indian)

    A small medicine chest, listed as BC666, kept in the Manuscripts and Archives Department of the University of Cape Town. Roughly 15cm in height and depth, and 20cm in width, it is made of metal and painted black, with the words ‘Trade Mark’, 'Tabloid' and ‘Brand’ printed under the keyhole, on its front. Fitted with a brown leather strap and metal clasps, the case suggests easy portability and containment. Manufactured by Burroughs Wellcome & Co. in the 19th century, these travelling Tabloid brand medicine chests accompanied eminent explorers such as Stanley, Scott and Shackleton on their travels – and was a firm favourite amongst missionaries and explorers coming to Africa, seen as a tool to combat ‘tropicality’. This particular chest belonged to Walter Floyd, a dentist born in Kent, who opened a practice in Cape Town in 1904, and bought it for a hunting trip he made to (then) Northern Rhodesia in 1913.
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