Various interesting singular aspects are highlighted in different smaller units of the exhibition:
A uniform pharmacy symbol didn’t exist for centuries. It was up to the pharmacist himself to design an appropriate symbol or sign and to put it up on the wall of his Elephant, Bear, Unicorn, Lion, or Eagle Pharmacy. An attempt to find a uniform symbol for all pharmacist’s shops wasn’t made until this century.
At the end of the 1920th this began to change. For example in 1929 the Verunda Company started a competition for the creation of such a “logo”. Finally the symbol of the “three spoons bottle”, much influenced by the “Bauhaus school”, emerged victorious from 967 designs in 1930. There were conflicting opinions about it, but one third of the pharmacist’s shops had accepted it until 1936. Then, during the national socialist period, the letter “A" in red combined with a man rune was introduced for all German pharmacist’s shops by the leader of their professional organization, Reichsapothekerführer Schmierer, in 1936. So the “three spoons bottle” had to disappear.The customary emblem for chemist’s shops of today, the letter "A" in red with poison bowl and snake, is legally stipulated now and exists since 1951. The museum depicts the history of the most ambivalent pharmacy emblems – from animals and fabulous creatures to the signs of the 20th century – with the help of an imposing number of interesting, often unusual and expensive original objects.
The development of typical pharmaceutical vessels made of glass, faience, porcelain, wood, and metal is displayed in another special area. The evolution of the style of most different types can be reconstructed on the basis of selected representative craft products which are valuable and interesting both in art and in cultural history.
Wooden boxes from the gothic period with a green, red, or blue ground coat arranged in long ranks once embellished the officines of medieval dispensaries with their attractive decorations, but they are very rare now.
The clients at the time must have been the same impressed by Persian, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, and German faiences as the visitors of today. It is very interesting to see how this material was replaced after a way had been found to produce porcelain in Europe.
Concerning glasses the way from pieces with cold painting to enamel painted glasses is depicted as well as the development from home products of simple “wood glass” to the well-known small brown glass bottles.
Mortars, scales and weights
You can easily observe the changing of the mortar types and the measuring and weight systems which hadn’t been standardized for centuries in the different German regions.
Home and travellers’ first aid and pharmacy kits
An imposing selection of home and travellers’ first aid and pharmacy kits is displayed in the area of the officina.Whether you were at home or travelling, little glass bottles or small metal boxes with healing or strengthening medicaments were as well at hand as very small spoons for taking the medicine, as tweezers, or little knives sticking in practical cases often made to fold out. The necessity of man for first aid in case of need is easy to comprehend looking at the exhibits.The traveller’s pharmacy kit from Augsburg once belonging to a war-lord of the 17th century is the most extraordinary piece. It is elaborately made of ebony, studded with silver mounts, and richly equipped with glass and silver vessels. The vast range of the exhibits also includes a simple leather case of the Fifties with sticking plaster and eau de Cologne.