514 Chartres St.
New Orleans, LA 70130
Travelling salesmen from all around would travel from town to town, in the hopes of peddling the latest magic cure-all. Sure this sludge may taste like the rear end of a rotten skunk but, by God, if the salesman said it cured an ailment, you could bet people were lined up for miles to guzzle it down. I’ve always found great humor in the labels of these liquids, as they always had a funny name such as “Pappy O’Flattery’s Cure All” or “Fat Momma’s Love Juice”. Ok, that last one sounded bad!
Other strange remedies seemed to cause more harm than good. Babies with toothaches were
|Check out these ingredients! Talk about a cure-all!|
You might be asking yourself, “Ok, where are we going with all of this?” Not only did I want to share my macabre interest, I had to touch on the subject in case some of you were just as strange as I am and would like to go to a museum that specialized in such curiosities. What better place to have such a museum than in the fitting city of New Orleans? Since the 1950’s the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum on Chartres Street has been just the place, offering a look at some incredible examples of centuries-old medical treatments, equipment and medicines.
As soon as you walk in, you are quickly taken back by the immense amount of items the museum has to offer. Everything is era-appropriate, meaning that you are immediately thrown back in time upon entering. The walls are filled with antique medicine bottles containing everything from
|Ingredients for all occasions.|
The museum rotates different exhibits and can often be quite strange as to what the featured displays will be. I last visited the museum about ten years ago. I had the honor and privilege of observing an incredible exhibit that has truly given me a whole new appreciation for women: Eighteenth century gynecology tools! I’ve always been glad that I have not had to deal with the “personal issues” that women have to deal with but after seeing the torture devices on display, I have a newly-found respect for you ladies! A man cannot help but cringe and walk by the exhibits with a hand inconspicuously guarding his genitals! Cold metal tables with uncomfortable stirrups were on display, as they hovered over large buckets to collect whatever rays of sunshine may have fell from the procedure. Small flowers were meticulously hand painted around the edges of these buckets, as to mask the intensity of the moment. Laid out on a metal tray were even more gruesome instruments, most of which were used to poke, prod, cut, hook, scoop, expand or any combination thereof.
One memorable set of devices will stay etched in my mind forever. In a small wooden box, were various sizes of black rubber objects, said to be a kit to cure women from constipation. These
Now that your life is officially complete, I can begin with the history of the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum. Before the years of tongue-in-cheek comments at various exotic displays, the museum itself was actually the very first licensed apothecary in the United States. The story begins in 1812, when Governor William C.C. Claiborne issued an order that established a mandatory licensing exam for pharmacists. In 1816, one of these first officially licensed pharmacists was a young man by the name of Louis Joseph Duffulo, Jr. He began his trade by working for his brother’s apothecary, situated on Toulouse Street. By 1823, Duffulo had become successful enough to open up his own shop. He did so by building a three-story home on Chartres Street. The first floor was his workspace while the second and third floors served as living quarters for him and his family.
|Old soda fountain on display at the museum.|
How bout a refreshing drink after your lobotomy?
The home would fall into numerous hands for the next eighty years until it would be purchased by the city of New Orleans. For several years, city officials planned to turn the historic home into a museum. Their plans officially came to fruition, as the present day pharmacy museum was opened in 1950.
With such an incredible location that contains such a conglomerate amount of oddities, could the amount of paranormal activity reported here be due to the items themselves? Such could very
|I've got my eyes on you!|
Although most feel that no serious threat resides here, the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum definitely has its fair share of encounters from the other side. Fortunately, the most intense encounter might be a gentle nudge, as opposed to flying medieval medical instruments. Say what you wish, but I’d rather be pushed by an unseen force than attacked with a softball-size anal plug any day of the week!