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Pills and Potions

Friday, 1 November 2013 4:58pm

at the Cotter Medical History Trust

Claire Le Couteur

pills_and_potionsThe book

Gauze containing ‘double cyanide of mercury and zinc’ … Fletcher’s Phosphatonic to ‘put your nerves right in a jiffy’ …

In this fascinating and by turns alarming book, Claire Le Couteur has researched the background to some of the popular medical remedies in New Zealand’s medical history, based on items found in the collection of the Cotter Medical History Trust.

The Cotter Trust was established in Christchurch by retired surgeon Pat Cotter, with the aim ‘to collect, preserve and display artefacts of a medical nature’. It now holds the largest collection in the country of biographical notes of doctors, dentists, technical, managerial, administrative and nursing staff who have worked in Canterbury. This is augmented by a museum of historical medical implements and equipment, medicines and pharmacy equipment, photographs, documents, memorabilia and books …

Consumption, asthma, whooping cough? You need Congreve’s Balsamic Elixir … 43.8 per cent proof spirit alcohol …
Pills & Potions is a collector’s dream.

The author

CLAIRE LE COUTEUR is a doctoral student in history, freelance author and has been editor of several newsletters for groups including the Canterbury Branch of the Historic Places Trust and the Canterbury Branch of the Royal Society of New Zealand.

Publication details

Paperback, 104 pages, colour throughout, ISBN 978 1 877578 57 1, $25
2014