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hta1970
04-26-2008, 04:59 PM
Ok, I have been doing some primary research on the medicine chest and contents used in the WBTS. My primary forcus has been the Confederate Medical Department, but information relating to the US Medical Department would be appropriate to post too. Recongnizing that both sides came fro the same "scholl of medicine" and would have been trained in the same backgropund before the war, certain differences would have arisen due to what supplies were available.

To start my research is focus on what was actually issued to the field. Not what was theoritically carried nor what was simply issued to hospitals (not regimental hospitals). So far I have records from the 66th North Carolina Infantry, Jones' Artillery Battalion and Medical Purveyors of the ANV Geddings and Herndon.

I have also referenced Chisolms 1864 manual for what he lists as the contents and the 1862 CS Medical Regulations.

On fact seems clear, only the proper latin terms were used for all medicines issues which conform to the CS Medical Regulations. Also, the terms for the medicines comply with the 1850 US Pharmacopia, not the 1860 edition. I am not sure what the US Medical Department was using.

Another note, It seems there was quite a varuiety of types of containers being used from vials to salt mouth and tincture bottles and even tins and jars. The container used and the size of the container was dependant on the type of medicine being stored.

Dispite Porcher's work on natural remidies from the southern forests and publications from the CS Medical Department, I have seen no records or invoices of anything like this being issues to Confederate medical departments except for Peanut Oil to the 66 NC Inf. Everything else is part of the official medicines. But I am only reseaching the ANV.

I'm going to slowly post what I have chosen to do but would like to also invite others to post. I know both Tim and Noah have done work on look-a-like medicines and this would eb a great place to include that type of information too as it related directly to the medicine containers. Notes on when the real thing can be used and when substitues should be used etc....

Also, if anyone has any good sources for the chects/boexes/etc to contain such medicines.

NoahBriggs
04-26-2008, 07:56 PM
Fro the benefit of those recently come across this forum, the look-alike med list has been posted already in an earlier thread. A quick search should bring it up near the beginning threads.

hanktrent
04-26-2008, 08:26 PM
Dispite Porcher's work on natural remidies from the southern forests and publications from the CS Medical Department, I have seen no records or invoices of anything like this being issues to Confederate medical departments except for Peanut Oil to the 66 NC Inf. Everything else is part of the official medicines. But I am only reseaching the ANV.

There are examples of deep south medical purveyors offering to pay for indigenous medicines, like here:

http://www.uttyler.edu/vbetts/savannah_republican_1863.htm

Scroll down to:

Confederate States of America.
Medical Purveyor's Office, 4th District.
Macon, Ga., July 1st, 1863.
List of Indigenous Plants Wanted at This Department


I wonder if the medical purveyors of the ANV ever put out requests like that? Or even among surgeons supplied by these medical purveyors who were advertising, how much of this medicine was used, compared to the preferred imported versions?

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

retter
04-26-2008, 11:58 PM
A good chest seems to be made by charliesboatworks.com. Its a repro of the Squibb pannier. It's probably most appropriate for a yankee impression but remember that for a while the Army of the Potomac was the best quartermaster the ANV had.

Rick Etter

hta1970
04-27-2008, 11:33 AM
I have just finished searching the Richmond Daily Dispatch for any references to the Medical Purveyor there buying native flora for medicines. Not a single reference appears in this paper.

But I did find the following from October 22, 1864:

The most important case disposed of was that against Henry S. Arnold, charged with stealing a lot of chloroform, calomel, quinine, and other medicines, belonging to the Confederate Government.--Arnold hails from King George county, Virginia, is young and respectable in appearance, and has once been wounded in the service, but at the present time claims to be detailed for light duty. The medicines which he is accused of stealing were discovered in the store of Mr. C. M. Berrian, druggist, on the corner of Broad and Twenty-fifth streets; and that gentleman asserts that he bought them from the prisoner. The first witness called was Dr. Drew, chief of the laboratory department of the Medical Purveyor's office of the Confederate States. Dr. Drew recognized the chloroform as being the property of the Government from the peculiar manner in which it was put up the mouth of the bottles being sealed with plaster of Paris, a mode he had never seen adopted before. He could not say that there had been any medicines stolen from his department, but was of the opinion that the robbery was committed at some hospital, and was some which had been issued by him.--A clerk under Dr. Brew stated that, some weeks since, he went to the ore of Mr. Berrian to see a young man, and wis, ere his attention was attracted to these from the peculiar manner in which they were put up. He examined the bottles and thought they were some which he had filled and sealed up at the Purveyor's Department. On inquiry, he was informed by Mr. Berrian's clerk that the medicines had been bought from Arnold, and was shown a memorandum written in the handwriting of Mr. O. R. Morrison, an employee at the department, which memorandum had been wrapped around one of the glass stoppers which was tied to the neck of the bottle.--Mr. Morrison was called, and identified the writing as his own; also thought the medicines were some which had been issued from the Medical Department. This witness, as also did the one preceding him, thought he could identify a bottle of copailer from the peculiarity of the label; but upon calling to the stand Mr. George W. Gary, the printer for the department, it was shown that he might easily be mistaken, as numbers of the same description could be printed at any printing establishment in the city.--Mr. Berrian testified that Arnold came to his store about a month since, in open day, and sold him the medicines which were claimed as belonging to the Government. At the time he bought them the prisoner informed him that he was from King George county, and that the articles he had sold belonged to a blockade-runner from that county, who had recently brought them from Baltimore. Having frequently bought medicines put up in similar bottles, and in precisely the same style, both before the war and since, he felt no hesitation in buying them. As to there being anything unusual or exclusive in the manner of sealing the chloroform bottles, that was not the case, for he had often bought it put up in the same style.--An expert, who had been in the apothecary business for upwards of forty years, stated that he had never seen chloroform bottles sealed with plaster before the war, nor had he known it to be put up in that style since the war at any other establishment but the Medical Purveyor's Department.--The ease was thereupon sent on for examination before the Hustings Court, and the prisoner admitted to bad in the sum of five hundred dollars for his appearance.

Four points here are the manner for sealing chloroform (plaster of paris), the type of container used (bottle), the method of labeling medicines (printed) and the method of sealing some other medicines (old office memorandum tied over the top of the bottle).

So far I have found no primary evidence that any surgeons in the ANV were doing anythign other than usuing issued drugs found in the Pharmecopia.

Obviously this certainly may not apply to other armies and departments.

Has anyone studied any medical chests/cases which have a proven association with the CS Medical Department?

hta1970
04-27-2008, 12:44 PM
I just found the following in the compiled military service record of Assistant Surgeon W.H. Geddings, Medical Purveyor ANV for 5 medicine chests and contents issued to him by Surgeon E.W. Johns at Richmond 4/21/62.

5lb Acaciae
3/4lb Acidi Citrici
3/4lb Acidi Tartarici
10 bt Alcoholis
5lb Alumnis
1oz Argenti Nitratis (cryst)
5oz Argenti Nitratis (fused)
5lb Camphorae
5lb Cerati Resinae
5lb Cerati Simplicis
2lb Cretae Preparatae
5yds Emplastri Adhaesivi
3lb Emplastri Cantharidis
5yds Emplastri Ichthyocollae
5oz Ferri et Quinniae Citratis
10oz Ferri Sulphatis
1 1/2lb Hydrargyri Chlor Mitas
5oz Hydrargyri Cum Creta
5oz Iodinii
1 1/2lb Liq Ammoniae
5dr Motrphiae Sulphatis
13oz Aetheris Sulp Loti
5bt Olei Olivae
5bt Olei Ricini
5bt Olei Terebinthinae
5dr Olei Tiglii
20dz Pilul Carthartic Comp
8dz Pilul Opii
1lb Plumbi Acetatis
5lb Potassae Bitartratis
5oz Pulv Ipecacuanhae et Opii
5oz Pulv Aloes
10oz Pulv Cinchonae
10lb Pulv Lini
14oz Pulv Opii
4oz Pulv Rhei
6lb Pulv Sinapis Nigrae
10oz Quiniae Sulphatis
5lb Sodae Bicarbonatis
1/2lb Sodae et Potass Tartratis
32oz Spts Ammon Aromatici
2 1/2lbs Spts Aetheris Comp
3lb Syrupi Scillae
5lb Sulphuris Loti
1 1/4lb Tinct Ferri Chloridi
2 1/2lb Tinct Opii
2 1/2lb Unguenti Hydrargyri
1/2lb Potassae Ascetatis
40oz Tinct Opii Camph
5oz Zinci Sulphatis

4lb Arrow Root
2 1/2dz Bandages Roller (Asst)
5 Medicine Chests
4 Motars & Pestles Iron
1 Mortar & Pestles Glass
5 Scales & Weights Apothecary Sets
2 1/2oz Silk Surgeons
5oz Sponge
5 Tiles
120 Bottles of All Kinds
5 Boxes Packing
105 Canisters

hanktrent
04-27-2008, 01:47 PM
Great stuff! And I'm wondering now what the evidence for indigenous substitutes actually being used in the CS Medical Department really is.


thought he could identify a bottle of copailer from the peculiarity of the label

Copailer? What's that? Did they mean copaiva?

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

hta1970
04-27-2008, 04:05 PM
Hank,

I took a look at the original image of the paper and it looks like the person who did the transcription made an error and it does look like Copaibae.

hta1970
04-27-2008, 05:08 PM
Here are a few recent creations by myself for my medicine chest/hospital knapsack. Comments are appreciated.

Attached are a 1oz vial and 2oz salt mouth bottles with mushroom stopper.

The labels are a modicification of the ones developed by Noah and are 12 point font.

hanktrent
04-27-2008, 07:03 PM
Here are a few recent creations by myself for my medicine chest/hospital knapsack. Comments are appreciated.

Attached are a 1oz vial and 2oz salt mouth bottles with mushroom stopper.

The labels are a modicification of the ones developed by Noah and are 12 point font.

Nice! I like the double-line border.

Only thing I noticed was that the first two weren't punctuated (no period at the end). If you're copying a specific original label which was that way, no problem, but the vast majority of original labels I can recall are punctuated.

Hank Trent
hantkrent@voyager.net

hta1970
04-28-2008, 11:14 AM
Hank,

Your are correct about the period at the end of the name of each medicine. I have a couple examples without the period, but most show it and Noah's instructions for labels also recommend the use of the period. I have printed new labels and will be replacing the ones I place on the bottles.

Any comments from anyone on the vial and salt mouth bottle shape?

These are the size and type bottle mentioned by Chisolm in his 1864 manual. He was at the time Medical Purveyor at the depot at Columbia, SC, and I believe would have been quite familiar with what types of containers were being issued by the CS medical depots.

I only hope these bottles and vials will fill the bill.

Other sizes used were 4oz and 8oz salt mouth and tincture bottles, jars and tins.

funhistory
04-28-2008, 03:52 PM
Gentlemen:

As I was conducting research to prepare my own bottle labels, I believe that I was advised by staff at the Albany College of Pharmacy that the colon was typically used to signify an abbreviation and the period was used to indicate that the name ended. I believe that the British refer to our "period" as a "full stop". Thus, Powdered Potassium Chloride would be "Pot: Chl: Pulv:." Does this agree with your research?

Furthermore regarding the discussion of Squibb's pannier and his products: Dr. Edward R. Squibb provided chemical preparations to any who cared to buy them. He simply had a Federal contract to assemble his products and other preparations into a single chest, which became the famed "pannier". Squibb (operating from Brooklyn), the Rosengarten firm (operating from Philadelphia), and others supplied chemicals and pharmaceuticals to the civilian community as a matter of course. Federal surgeons and hospitals would have used Squibb products from the pannier in the field as well as those produced in the USA laboratory in Astoria. Is it reasonable to assume that doctors in the South would have used the same products when they were able to gain access to them?

Squibb's position as a producer of fine chemicals led me to use his name on our labels because we portray private embalming surgeons who would not have requisitioned medical supplies from the USA Medical Department.

hanktrent
04-28-2008, 06:30 PM
As I was conducting research to prepare my own bottle labels, I believe that I was advised by staff at the Albany College of Pharmacy that the colon was typically used to signify an abbreviation and the period was used to indicate that the name ended. I believe that the British refer to our "period" as a "full stop". Thus, Powdered Potassium Chloride would be "Pot: Chl: Pulv:." Does this agree with your research?

I flipped through Dr. Gordon Dammann's Encyclopedia vol. I real quick, and saw one example, Sulph: Morphia, but the rest seemed to use period for abbreviations, as far as I could tell. Might also be Carb: Soda. But there's Pil. Hydrarg, Tinct. Ginger, Powd. Rhubarb, Pills of Quiniae Sulph., Pulv. Dover, Pulv. Opii, etc.

It's possible his examples may be skewed. Or is it a British vs. American thing, or used by some pharmacies only?

I believe the period at the end is based on the fact that all labels and signs were to be punctuated just like text. From Hill's Manual, on sign punctuation: "The period (.) is used at the end of every sentence, even if it be but one word; as, Bank. Merchant Tailor. John Smith. William Jones, Dealer in Hats, Caps and Furs. The period is also used to show the omission of letters, at the last of a name or word, called abbreviation; as Co. for Company; H. J. Smith for Henry James Smith."

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

TJ6
05-08-2008, 11:05 AM
Harry,

Where did you find your bottles? Did you purchase them from the Wiccan website Noah found?

TJ

TJ6
05-08-2008, 11:16 AM
Chisolm's 1864 manual lists a number of different kinds of containers besides the "vials of different kinds." Two questions:
Would these have been in use earlier in the war?
What sort of cover would be on the "tins with covers" as opposed to the "tins with lids?"

TJ Hill

hta1970
05-08-2008, 03:09 PM
TJ,

In the invoices in the compiled military service record of Assistant Surgeon W.H. Geddings, Medical Purveyor ANV for 5 medicine chests and contents issued to him by Surgeon E.W. Johns at Richmond 4/21/62 for 4 medicine chests he lists:
120 Bottles of All Kinds
105 Canisters

I have also seen references to 4oz and 2oz vials in the confederate records. So I'd say there was definately the use of bottles and vial inaddition to tins or jars even early in the war. The MOC has a photo of one early war chest purchased in Richmond in their publication of the CS Medical Department and it has bottles. As Chisolm was not only the author of the manual on surgery, but also the medical purveyor at Columbia, I think his writings about the different size containers would be pretty well informed. For example Sulphate of Morphia and Croton Oil come in very small quantities and as such would be in a small container. Other items issued in larger quantities would be in larger containers. The sizes in Chisolms manual also match closely to the chests issued to Geddings in 62 and the medical supplies issued to Howard in 63.

Given Chisolm's manual and Geddings' and Howard's invoices I am using those quantities and storage containers as my starting point until I find more information which will alter my medicine chest. And with the article from the Richmond Daily Dispatch, I will start experimenting with palster of paris to seal my Chloroform bottle.

The labels I am using are only in latin using the genative case which corresponds to the listing I have found in Chisolm's Manual, "Darkness Ablaze", and in Geddings' and Howard's invoices. These are also according to the 1850 US Pharacopia and not the 1860 US Pharacopia which seems to have been followed more closely by Squibb and the US Medical Department.

Note: I am only having those medicines which I have invoices showing issue to field units and will not have medicines which were issued to hospitals or only listed in manual or regulation.

Hope that helps!

hta1970
05-08-2008, 03:12 PM
TJ,

Well if you are referring to www.stormsong.org then yes they are from there. The vial and 2oz salt mouth bottle photos I posted are from there. When the 4oz tincture bottles arrive and I get them labeled, I will try to post them also.

Harry

TJ6
05-09-2008, 12:29 AM
Yes, that is it. I couldn't recall the name but remembered it was Wiccan because of Noah's remark "God bless the Wiccans" and someone replying that they (the Wiccans) might be offended. My sieve of a brain retains the most unexpected things.

TJ6
05-09-2008, 12:45 AM
I have not seen any records showing that indigenous plants or drugs made from indigenous plants were issued, either, but one wonders why the medical purveyors would be paying to get these materials if there was no use for them. No doubt there were times when the preferred imported drugs were not available, and the indigenous plants might have been used then, but there must be some record of them changing hands. Sorry this isn't any help. Just thinking out loud so to speak.

NoahBriggs
05-09-2008, 07:47 AM
Thinking out loud is good! It leads to a particular weather pattern called "brainstorming", and we get roaring thundershowers everytime someone posts here.

Wish I could add more to the topic. Confederate medicine history is getting a badly needed critical overhaul by people like yourselves who are actually wading through the primary sources to see exactly how the Confederate purveying system works.

Let us swim thorugh the mainstream to reach the island of authenticity.

hta1970
05-09-2008, 11:21 AM
TJ,

I think most progressive Confederates would agree, there is nothing common about the Confederate Army.

As with any Confederate impression, alot will depend on what Army you are serving in, where you are serving and what time frame you are representing.

That being said, what is your impression? And what unit/army/time frame are you portraying?

I myself am an assistant surgeon with 2nd Corps Artillery, ANV mid-war.

TJ6
05-11-2008, 07:55 PM
I am the steward for the 6th KY Reg. field hospital, 1st Bde, AOT. We are a small group and do only regional events. We do early war, mostly 1861, although we have ventured as far (timewise) into the war as Perryville. I carry only a few of the most widely used meds, also labeled in Latin. My labels look very much like yours and Noah's. However, it's not clear to me when abbreviations are used and when not.

I have created blue mass pills that I think will serve the purpose. Not knowing much about cooking or weddings (the latter having last occurred some 23 years ago) I was not sure where to get raw tapioca or round wedding cake deocrations (both suggested here on the forum and both good suggestions if one is knowledgeable of such items and doesn't live in the sticks). I experimented with watering down blue food coloring (a drop goes a long way) and then mixing in flour to form a dough. I made small round pills of mine, but I suppose that if you wanted the mass packaged, you could add a bit of salt to keep it from drying and wrap it appropriately. If you want a medicinal flavor or odor, you could add food flavoring or oils. Not sure if this is too mainstream but thought I'd offer it. The pills will, of course, eventually crumble with packing and travel, but they are easily replaced.

TJ

38thIndiana
08-31-2008, 10:29 AM
I noticed the reference to the Wiccan site that sells the 100ml corked bottles on this thread, but they are a bit pricey. Check out the Sun Burst Bottle Company at this link:

http://www.sunburstbottle.com/glass-bottles/corked

and one will find the exact same corked 100ml (and a nice 250ml corked bottle, too) for about a 1/4 of the price. The pics of the 100ml bottle from both sites look to be the exact same one. Just wanted to save interested parties a little $$$

hta1970
09-10-2008, 10:49 AM
Traie,

I'm currious about the selection of such a large size bottle with a cork stopper to medicines...

The 100ml is about 3oz roughly and the 250ml is about 8oz roughly. From Chisolm, who was a medical purveyor at the time he wrote his 3rd edition, bottles of this size used mushroom or tincture stoppers, not corks. Corks would have been on vials which were much smaller sizes.

Have you found any references in print or artifacts which show larger sized bottles with cork stoppers unsed by either Confederate or federal medical services?

Thanks!

38thIndiana
09-12-2008, 12:56 PM
As far as corks being used in the larger tincture and salt-mouth medicine bottles, I refer to Griffenhausen's "History of Drug Containers and Their Labels" book on Google. On page 52, he mentions the common uses for tincture and salt-mouth bottles: "Whitall, Tatum & Co. made their two cheapest grades of tincture and salt-mouth bottles either for corks or glass stoppers." Hence my choice of going with cork stoppers, instead of glass stoppers for the 100ml and 250ml bottles. Corks are more readily available than having to search out and find bottles with matching glass stoppers.

hta1970
09-14-2008, 12:48 AM
The ground glass stoppers are easy to find with matching bottles in salt mouth and tincture in both clear and amber. Below are links to the 250ml size which should be about 8oz I think.

http://store.stormsong.org/cart/product.php/12876/clear-wide-mouth-bottle-w-ground-glass-stopper---250ml

http://store.stormsong.org/cart/product.php/12885/clear-narrow-mouth-bottle-w-ground-glass-stopper---250ml

Both use the mushroom stopper. You might find these easier to remove than corks, especially if the cork gets pushed down far into the bottle.

Elaine Kessinger
09-15-2008, 10:24 AM
One place that might help our neighbors to the south and west (nearest to Harry, Noah, and me is Danville, VA; about a 4 hour drive) is a craft store called Hobby Lobby. If they have not changed signifigantly in the last 2 years, they have a large selection of bottles/ vials and an aisle of loose corks around the soap/oils making section. The wedding cake decorations would be found either in the aisle with wedding stuff or the aisle of cake decorating stuff. Raw tapioca can probably be found at a natural foods store, just ask the friendly salesperson, you'll find out more info on tapioca than you ever wanted to know.

Hopefully Helpful-

funhistory
09-16-2008, 01:40 PM
Hello Elaine,

We have Hobby Lobby here in the Midwest, but I've not seen bottles that I could use in their oils section.

In regard to producing Blue Mass, I found boxes of large pearl tapioca on the shelf at Festival Foods, a chain retailler. The boxed brand may have been "Reese" or "Reeve". I'd also seen it in other supermarkets such as Schnuck's (a St. Louis based chain).

For those who may be interested, the manufacturing process was quite simple. I spread a single layer of tapioca pearls on the bottom of a Rubbermaid sandwich keeper and then misted them with a solution of two drops of blue food color in 50 ml of water, using a small sprayer. I aggitated the keeper as I misted to get even coverage. I then continued to aggitate them until they were dry to prevent them sticking together or to the keeper. Next, I placed three drops of anise extract along one edge of the bottom of the keeper and aggitated (to impart a mild flavor and to vaporize/oxidize the alcohol in the extract). I repeated the process, using the opposite side of the keeper. Because the pills appeared to be too blue to my eye, I sprinkled on a teaspoon full of corn starch and aggitated the keeper; the resulting pills look quite period. I plan to repeat the process, using brown as well as a golden hue to replicate original medicines that I've seen in museum collections.

hta1970
09-17-2008, 02:06 PM
Jon,

In my research of the Confederate Army medical service I have come across the term Massae pil. Hydrargyri, which I imagine this is the product before it has been formed into pills. What makes me wonder and ask about this is when you look at other pills such as Opium and Cathartic:comp, they are listed simply as Pilul:..... but in the case of blue mass, it is listed as Massae pil. Hydrargyri, quite clearly a different expression. Also the pills are listed in qualities by the dozen when the blue mass is listed by the ounce. Again a very different way of listing these drugs...In both cases the listing and the quantity would seem to referto the pillular mass rather than the pills of blue mass....

I was looking at "Repairing the March of Mars." In there the author of the journal has several pages of prescription notes. I have seen several mentions of prescriptionss with Blue Mass. The transcriber really had his head up his backsize and can't read 19th century handwriting so he takes the double "s" to be a "p". Once you figue that out and some other problems the transcriber had you can start to discover what the author meant.

Example taken directly from the book:
RxBlue Mapazjs
Op.Pulv. grs. V
In G. Pill no. 12
Take one pill every four hours

Correct transcription of the above after looking at the original diary:
Rx
Blue Mass (dram)ss
Op Pulv grs v
M. D Pil No 12
Take one pill every four hours
until [illegible], and in four hours
each will take one
For Johnston, Vermillion,
Lyon & Ray

Another example taken directly from the book:
Rx
Blue Map grm x
xPill no. 2
S/one at bed time to-night & also to-morrow night

Correct transcription of the above after looking at the original diary:

RX
Blue Mass grs X
F. Pill No 2
S. one at bed time tonight & also tomorrow night
Bishop

It appears the pillular mass of mercury was being compounded with opium in one case and used alone in the second case to create pills as needed by the surgeon for the purposes he desired, such as mitigating the effects of the mercury with opium.

funhistory
09-18-2008, 05:44 PM
Harry,

While I'm no pharmacist, I believe that your assumption is correct. Last evening I pulled out an original copy of a later 19th century work that I've come to rely heavily upon (Joseph Price Remington's "The Practice of Pharmacy"), and concluded that a pharmacist might keep on the shelf both a stock of mercury pill mass as well as finished pills ready for dispensing. In the case of the pill mass, additional substances could be added to it through trituration after which the pharmacist would then roll the Blue Mass & ??? compound and create finished pills. Thus, he would be prepared to dispense plain, prepared Blue Mass along with a variation that would depend upon the prescribing physician's order. In this case, pill mass by weight would be the only way to inventory it; however, as finished pills, one could count the individual pieces.

Ignoring the examples that show the transcriber's obvious errors, the first original example that you provided appears to bear this out, namely the prescription of pill mass with powdered opium made into pills.

hta1970
09-18-2008, 11:25 PM
Thought I would explain the two prescriptions since not everyone knows period prescription writing or latin.

Rx
Blue Mass (dram)ss
Op Pulv grs v
M. D Pil No 12
Take one pill every four hours
until [illegible], and in four hours
each will take one
For Johnston, Vermillion,
Lyon & Ray

Rx (Rx = Recipe, take)
Blue Mass (dram)ss (ss = Semis, a half)
Op Pulv grs v
M.D Pil No 12 (M = Misce, mix; D = divide)
Take one pill every four hours
until [illegible], and in four hours
each will take one
For Johnston, Vermillion,
Lyon & Ray

And the other example
Rx
Blue Mass grs X
F. Pill No 2
S. one at bed time tonight & also tomorrow night
Bishop

Rx (Rx = Recipe, take)
Blue Mass grs X
F. Pill No 2 (F = Fac, Fiat, let there be made)
S. one at bed time tonight & also tomorrow night ( S = Sumat, let the patient take)
Bishop

As you can see in both cases the blue mass was being taken from stores by weight and either compounded with other medicines or alone and divided into pills, 12 in the first example and 2 in the second.

funhistory
09-19-2008, 01:47 PM
Excellent, Sir!

I would also add that the line "Op Pulv grs v" would translate to "Opii (Opium) Pulvis (Powdered) grs (grains) v (5)".