Victorian Pharmacy concludes with the pharmacy moving into a new era of understanding. Modern medicine is starting to be birthed. Ruth Goodman kicks off the episode by dressing up in a “woman’s suit.” A “woman’s suit” demonstrated to the customer that they were professionals. Now, the pharmacy is stocking branded products and they did not have to make many products anymore. It could be possible that the pharmacy was an early grocery store.
Photography started to take off in the 1880s and the pharmacy could provide the chemicals that were needed for the hobby. Nick and an herbalist go out and pick herbs for the pharmacy. Ruth cleans the sheep intestine to make condoms and then explores the history of contraception. Although Victorian Contraception was more about protecting the man from STDs, Ruth wants to make the effort to make the condoms. There were female pills available to help women regulate their periods.
Tom explores the history of dentistry and how the pharmacy offered dental service. A dental historian trains Tom up in dentistry. Surgeons often had dentistry as a side hustle. Tom practices pulling and drilling teeth. Nick makes an early forerunner of toothpaste, dental powder. If a person was rich they could afford to take better care of their teeth and they bought tooth powder. A development that happened during the Victorian Period was the invention of the tooth drill and fillings. This was an alternative to pulling teeth. Tom tries out an old drill and concludes that he would have been an over-enthusiastic dentist.
Salicylic acid is discovered during this period. Meadowsweet and Willow Bark have salicylic acid, which kills pain. Nick and a chemist extract salicylic acid from willow bark and meadowsweet. They explore the history of natural remedies as well as the history of extracting the chemicals in those plants. The druggist and pharmacists had to have one foot in the natural world.
To discover more about the Victorian Pharmacy, keep watching the documentary.
The series as a whole is an excellent primer on the development of the pharmacy. You may want to show the whole series in a science classroom or a history classroom. You could even use clips of the series in an agricultural classroom. Or if there are time constraints, show clips of the series to your students as part of a lecture. Teacher, you are only limited by your imagination as to how to use this series in the classroom.
For use in the classroom, just highlight, copy and paste into a Word or Google Document. You can format it how you like. All questions can fit on one page.
You can access the video here.
Victorian Pharmacy Questions
Victorian Pharmacy Answers
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