Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Antiques from the Apothocary

Look at the title of that red book -- looks like a first cousin to those questionable health books advertised by email spam nowadays. Yet it was probably a good reference in its time. Scan those brown bottles with their cork stoppers. Or those boxed powders and ointments. Scary, huh?

Yet, guess what -- our grandparents and their parents before them survived. We're here, after all. No need for child-proof lids; the kids back then knew enough not to muck about the medicine cabinet. Not to mention the gawdawful taste of proper medicine; that's a deterrant that's gone by the wayside in our effort to get rid of the yuck factor. Now everything tastes pink. A new sort of yuck, in my opinion.

This wonderful collection from days past catches my attention every time I go into the Goodwin Street Pharmacy. Four cabinets full of yesterdays nostrums -- legit and snake oil alike. It's good to be reminded of how far we've progressed, how protected we are, but most important, we need to be reminded of the shoulders that we stand on.

One thing I really like about independent local businesses: the unexpected, surprising and very individual art work, doodads, antiques selected for display. It might be my doctor with his mother's water colors or the old-fashioned apple-themed collection at the Apple Pan, (where else?) or the celebration of rodeos past at the Waffle Iron. All very ideosyncratic and one-of-a-kind; in the hands of a corporate design consultant, the same material would quickly turn into trashy kitsch.


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Anonymous said...

I love a view of history. Excellent post.

Granny J said...

I doubt if hihi will be back; however, tell him I've already got Firefox. And thanks, Steve. I'm always interested in collections of old stuff that are made by pro's in whatever the specialty, such as our local pharmacist. I'm reminded of that genuine old-fashioned German pharmacy that was across the street from us back in Chicago in the early 60s. Dark and brown with lots of wall cabinets and smelling of herbs. He left Larabee Street before we did.

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