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  • Holloway Sanatorium for the Insane

    08/07/2016

    The travel writer Bill Bryson recorded that Virginia Water, the home to Holloway Sanatorium, had a charm about it because “it was full of wandering lunatics”. Bryson worked at the sanatorium in 1973 as a janitor on Tuke Ward. In… Continue reading

  • The story of Daraprim: from experimental drug to commodity

    30/06/2016

    A 62-year-old pharmaceutical drug developed by the Burroughs Wellcome Co. hit the news recently when the drug company who purchased the US marketing rights and increased the price by 5,000%. Today pyrimethamine (brand name Daraprim) is mainly used to treat… Continue reading

  • Apollo and the Aztecs

    27/06/2016

    Microcephaly is a word that has come from nowhere to the newspapers’ front pages in a surprisingly short time, owing to the Zika virus outbreak in Brazil coinciding with the preparations for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Congenital… Continue reading

  • Insects under the microscope

    23/06/2016

    For National Insect Week, Hannah Brown shares some of her favourite insect images from Wellcome Images. Robert Hooke’s drawing of the head and eyes of a drone-fly appeared in his book, ‘Micrographia’, the first book to illustrate insects and plants… Continue reading

  • Refugees in Turkey (again)

    20/06/2016

    With reports of 2.5 million Syrian refugees now encamped in Turkey, this 19th century print of refugees in Constantinople (Istanbul) shows that massed refugees in that part of the world are not a new phenomenon. The image, part of an… Continue reading

  • Nature’s pharmacy at your feet

    10/06/2016

    If you are one of thousands of people who strapped on a pair of walking shoes and ventured out on British countryside footpaths over the past few weeks, you probably did it for the therapeutic effects of exercise, sunlight, fresh… Continue reading

  • How the fate of the rhino is tied to medicine

    05/06/2016

    The theme of World Environment Day 2016 is the illegal wildlife trade. All five of the world’s species of rhinoceros have been brought to the edge of extinction thanks in part to a lucrative international trade in exotic animals and… Continue reading

  • Parental cares

    01/06/2016

    On the Global Day of Parents, Julia Nurse highlights the moving drawings of Käthe Kollwitz. It is every parent’s nightmare to witness a sick child but it was a frighteningly common scenario before the discovery of penicillin in 1928.  Arguably,… Continue reading

  • Job adverts in the 1920s: Twitter meets LinkedIn

    23/05/2016

    In the early 20th century, the Chemist and Druggist included a weekly supplement. Alongside “Businesses Wanted” and “Premises to Let”, the C+D also published “Situations Open” and “Situations Wanted” with opportunities advertised and sought in both retail and wholesale pharmacy… Continue reading

  • Campaigning cookbooks for vegetarians

    19/05/2016

    Take a look at the published books in our collection classified under the subject Vegetarian Diet and you might be surprised. A substantial number were published in the second half of the 19th century. The first vegetarian society in the… Continue reading