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John Birkett pharmaceutical recipe book

Ms. Codex 1940

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Summary Information

Repository:
University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Creator:
Birkett, John, 1839-1912
Title:
John Birkett pharmaceutical recipe book
Date [inclusive]:
1856-1860
Call Number:
Ms. Codex 1940
Extent:
1 volume (+ 1 leaf)
Language:
English
Abstract:
A volume comprised of formulas written by English chemist and druggist John Birkett spanning the years from 1856 to 1860. The formulas in the volume were used for medicinal, hygienic, and household purposes.
Cite as:
John Birkett pharmaceutical recipe book, 1856-1860, Ms. Codex 1940, Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, University of Pennsylvania
PDF Version:

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Biography/History

Birkett was a chemist and druggist in Morecambe, Lancashire, England. He owned a drugstore in Morecambe, served for twenty years on the board of health, and was associated with the school board. Birkett married Mary Ann Taylor in 1864 and the couple had four children. His eldest son, John took over business.

Scope and Contents

A ruled volume comprised of formulas written by English chemist and druggist John Birkett spanning the years from 1856 to 1860. The formulas in the volume were used for medicinal, hygienic, and household purposes. An alphabetical index precedes 187 numbered pages followed by several unnumbered leaves. The volume includes recipes for balms, cordials, creams, ethers, ointments, pills, plasters, powders, tinctures, and ungents providing remedies for various ailments and diseases. Some ailments include coughs, corns, digestion, gout, eye ailments, fevers, and rheumatism. Named formulas include Andersons Scott's pills, Gregory's powder, and Hooper's pills. There are some preparations for toiletries including cold creams, colognes, hair tonics, soaps, and tooth powders. There are household recipes for blacking, cements, inks, lacquers, pastes, polishes, stains, varnishes, and waxes. Formulas to control pests included bug poison, fly powder, and vermin destroyer. One section provides formulas for photographic developers, fixers, silver baths, and solutions. A few culinary recipes are included such as browning sauce, children's gum, curing beef, curry powder, ginger beer, meat pie, and walnut ketchup. There are a few formulas regarding the care of animals. One leaf with a typed recipe for beef spice is laid in the volume. On the inside front cover and marbled endpaper is written: Sugar White. Verso of endpaper: John Birkett, Morecambe, Sept. 6th, 1856. On the last leaf and recto of the last endpaper is a diagram with measurements and a short explanation to create what appears to be a hammered dulcimer.

Administrative Information

Publication Information

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts,  August 2018

Finding Aid Author

Finding aid prepared by Donna Brandolisio

Access Restrictions

This codex is available for research.

Use Restrictions

Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Source of Acquisition

Sold by Jarndyce Antiquarian Booksellers (London, England), 2018.

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Controlled Access Headings

Form/Genre(s)
  • Codices (bound manuscripts)
  • Formularies (Medicine)
  • Manuscripts, English--19th century
  • Prescriptions
  • Recipes
Subject(s)
  • Formulas, recipes, etc.--England--19th century
  • Medicine--19th century--Formulae, receipts, prescriptions
  • Photography--Formulae
  • Toilet preparations--19th century--Formulae, receipts, prescriptions

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Collection Inventory

Volume

John Birkett pharmaceutical recipe book, 1856-1860.

1