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Things to do in New Orleans – Visit the Pharmacy Museum

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Interior Pharmacy Museum New Orleans

One of the more unique museums in New Orleans is the Pharmacy Museum, also known as La Pharmacie Francaise.  Housed in one of the city’s historic Creole townhouses, this interesting museum – one of the city’s more reasonably priced attractions – offers visitors a look at a 19th century apothecary shop.

Built in 1823 as the private residence and place of business of Louis Dufilho, Jr., the first licensed pharmacist in the U.S, the property was later inhabited by Dr. Joseph Dupas, who established his medical practice on the second floor and continued to operate the pharmacy on the ground floor.

Following a succession of owners in later years, the building was renovated and, in 1950, put into use as a museum. The collection of curiosities it contains is said to be one of the largest, most diverse of its kind in the U.S.

Interior of Pharmacy Museum New Orleans

Today, the building’s ground floor, with its original Belgian slate flooring, houses the museum’s apothecary shop. Exhibited here, on floor to ceiling shelves lining the walls and in display cases along the counter, are the tools and ingredients of the pharmacist’s trade.

Herbals and Botanicals Pharmacy Museum New Orleans

Vintage glass bottles, medicinal jars, tubes, and vials hold herbs and botanicals, tonics, elixirs,

Medicinal Bottles Pharmacy Museum New Orleans

disinfectants, salves, ointments,

Jar of Leeches Pharmacy Museum New Orleansand leeches.

Mortar and Pestle Pharmacy Museum New Orleans

You’ll also see an array of implements, such as the mortar and pestle,

Powder Paper Folder Pharmacy Museum New Orleans

paper folders,

Hypodermic Needles and Syringes Pharmacy Museum New Orleans

hypodermic needles, and syringes; items used for compounding, weighing, packaging, and dispensing medication.

Gold and Silver Coated Pills Pharmacy Museum New Orleans

There are also gold and silver coated pills (for the elite patient),

Coca Cola Dispenser Pharmacy Museum New Orleans

a ceramic dispenser for mixing medicinal Coca-Cola syrup,

Soda Fountain Pharmacy Museum New Orleans

Antique Soda Fountain Pharmacy Museum New Orleans

and an old-fashioned Italian marble soda fountain (once a common fixture in a pharmacy).

Second Floor Exhibit Gallery Pharmacy Museum New Orleans

The stairs out back lead to the second floor where the various rooms house exhibits pertaining to epidemics, such as cholera and yellow fever;

Prohibition Era Liquor Prescription Pharmacy Museum New Orleans

Patented medicines; Medicinal liquors, for which patients needed a doctor’s prescription during the Prohibition Era;

Sick Room with Medical Supplies Pharmacy Museum New Orleans

And in the Sick Room, there are 19th century home healthcare and midwifery instruments and supplies.

In these rooms, you’ll also see:

Botanical Cabinet Drawers Pharmacy Museum New Orleans

Pharmaceutical cabinets, such as an 18th century piece made of cypress and a set of decoratively carved cabinets with drawers for storing botanicals;

Posters and Signs Pharmacy Museum New Orleans

Signs and advertisements,

Exhibit of Jars and Scales Pharmacy Museum New Orleans

glass show globes, glazed apothecary jars, a collection of scales and weights,

Antique Cash Register Pharmacy Museum New Orleans

as well as a beautiful embossed metal cash register.

Vintage Eyeglass Frames Pharmacy Museum New Orleans

Of particular note on this floor is the impressive Ophthalmic Pharmaceutical Exhibit also known as the Rosenthal Spectacle Collection. This extensive collection documents the history of eyeglasses and consists of an assortment of items from spectacles in various styles (notice the nose-pinching pince-nez and the 19th century round-rimmed frames from China) to corrective lenses,

Glass Eye Cups Pharmacy Museum New Orleans

glass eye bath cups, ointments, and even talismans to ward off the ‘evil eye’.

Getting there:

The New Orleans Pharmacy Museum is located at 514 Chartres St, two streets down from Jackson Square.

Ticket Info:

Adult Admission = $5.00

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  1. By Things to do in New Orleans – Visit the P... 17 Sep ’16 at 6:52 am

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