I spent the past three days in New Orleans attending a conference. Yesterday, I had some extra time between sessions during my lunch break and decided to walk into the French Quarter to visit the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum, since I had never been there.
It is the perfect size museum for a short, lunch break visit. It is located on two floors, so not accessible to those who can’t climb a big flight of stairs. There are lots of interesting exhibits and plenty of fascinating information.
There were many tools used by both pharmacists and doctors, illustrating the evolution of medicine.
It was interesting to read about the use of certain substances for medicinal purposes that are now considered illicit or still being studied, such as marijuana and heroin. It was especially interesting reading about the problems with prescription opiod addiction in the 19th century, in light of the current crisis our nation is facing.
There was an even an exhibit on alcohol and spirits used medicinally. Pictured below is a prescription for alcohol written during prohibition.
The shelves were filled with all different sorts of medicines, arranged by the type of ailments they treated.
Here is a leech jar. Thankfully, there were no leeches in the museum. I have always had quite the irrational fear of leeches.
Pharmacies also used to be soda fountains.
The museum is full of interesting facts and history.
There was even a section on voodoo medicine, which of course has a strong history in New Orleans.
The topics covered in the small museum are quite thorough.
I feel like I learned a lot with all of the exhibits.
There is even a nice little courtyard located at the back of the museum.
If you are visiting the French Quarter, I definitely think it is an interesting place to spend an hour or so, if you like museums. It costs only $5 for general admission, which is worth it for all the cool things you get to see.