Poison Bottle

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Title Poison Bottle
Museum Country Doctor Museum
Extent Height: 18.8" Diameter: 3.2"
Medium glass/paper
Subject Bottles

Clear cobalt blue, cylindrical glass bottle with smooth narrow neck and wide rim at top; raised diamond pattern on bottle and stopper; brown paper rectangular label, "Laudanum Poison" in red; in black at top, "Stimulant. Narcotic. Lessens pain. Produces sleep."; at label bottom, "Dose for adults 5 to 25 drops"; blue glass stopper with threaded rod at bottom; stopper marked "POISON" in raised glass.

Poison bottles were used to store medicines that were dangerous or meant to be applied externally. Poison bottles had bumps or ridges on them and were often green, blue, or brown in color. The use of texture and color were important because many rural patients were illiterate. The bottles were also useful to people who had trouble seeing or for those trying to find medicine at night. Laudanum was often kept in poison bottles because of its poisonous and addictive nature.