Pharmacy Museum: So Glad I Missed the 1800s

Kathy P., one of my roommates on the trip, and I were up bright and early on our last day in New Orleans, because the pharmacy museum she really wanted to see would finally be open (she’s a lactation consultant and wanted to see the birth-related stuff). It was mighty cold but off we went through the freezing streets of a city just waking up (many food delivery trucks for all those restaurants). Brr, it was cold and windy.

Many of the French Quarter houses have beautiful hidden courtyards. I’m glad to have seen this one.

We then discovered the museum opened at 10, not 9, so we found a coffee shop and warmed up. It was a PJ’s. Their theme is that they invented the locally roasted beans and pastries idea long before Starbucks. It was good coffee, anyway.

This is the “sick bed” display. To the right are ancient urinals, shown in detail below.

I made a quick stop at the yarn shop to get a printed copy of the complicated pattern I bought (PDF on phone was not cutting it). The lady was great about it, and we had a nice chat. Then I joined Kathy at the cool 1825 house where the pharmacy museum was.

There was display after display of some awful things they used to do to people, like amputation saws and HUGE things they stuck in your nose for reasons I don’t know. And a lot of poisons in jars, which you can see below.

Even if you aren’t interested in drugs and potions, this place is cool. The display cabinets were gorgeous, and there were amazing windows in the stairway going to the second floor.

Beautiful stairs and huge windows.

The windows looked out on one of those typical New Orleans courtyards, which is apparently maintained by some courtyard maintenance group.

I was entranced

I was happy to see a banana tree with actual bananas on it. I hope the courtyard protects them enough to keep going.

See the bananas?

After we finished gaping at bedpans and stuff, we headed back to the hotel so Kathy could do money things, then easily traveled to the new airport, where I was happy to see no travel delays due to the weather. We missed them by a day. I made a friend on the plane, a young woman who just turned 21 and didn’t fly often. That made it fun, because she told me all about how to potty train a pet pig.

Austin sunset. I’m home.

I am so glad to be home, especially since Lee came in from Cameron to pick me up! Yay, got to see my man and one dog, at least.

Yay! My man and dog!

Author: Sue Ann (Suna) Kendall

The person behind The Hermits' Rest blog and many others. I'm a certified Texas Master Naturalist and love the nature of Milam County. I manage technical writers in Austin, help with Hearts Homes and Hands, a personal assistance service, in Cameron, and serve on three nonprofit boards. You may know me from La Leche League, knitting, iNaturalist, or Facebook. I'm interested in ALL of you!

3 thoughts on “Pharmacy Museum: So Glad I Missed the 1800s”

  1. I have always loved the history of pharmacy. I wouldn’t have loved having to live it, but it is fascinating. One of the RPh who trained me used to talk about measuring out cocaine to put into eye drops. He also remembered a time when they compounded rather than ordering stock bottles of medicines. They used to order the drug ingredients and make their own capsules and pills when he was a young man just starting in pharmacy “Back when people still rode dinosaurs” as he would say. He also said that in college he rode a T-Rex that was missing half it’s tail, two fingers on one hand, and couldn’t see very well but it was all he could afford lol. He had a great sense of humor.

    Liked by 1 person

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