Bottle of Poison
Glencoe Folk Museum

This green bottle had poisonous contents derived from saponins, a class of plant extracts.   

Poisons were stocked for many years by apothecaries or chemists for a range of purposes including for poisoning pests and vermin such as rats.  

The visible ridges on the sides of the bottle were a physical indicator of the poisonous substance of the bottle.   

Many apothecaries and pharmaceuticals used design features such as bumps, ridges, or unusual shapes to highlight the dangerous contents of the bottle, which was particularly useful if you were searching for a bottle in the dark.    

Poisonous substances were widely accessible in the Victorian period. The current laws and regulations used to control dangerous substances today simply did not exist.  

Saponins are still used today in the development of drugs, and are particularly useful for the development of vaccines.   

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Date: 1800s
Materials : Glass
Size : 17cm

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