Bottle of croton oil by Duerdin & Sainsbury, used in a pharmacy of a mental health hospital in Victoria, Australia, circa 1860. Croton oil was a particularly potent purgative administered to some patients as a form of chemical restraint.

Physical Description

Small, clear glass medicine bottle, labelled Duerdin & Sainsbury, Ol. crotonis. Long thin bottle with round base, straight sides, rounded shoulder, shortish, narrow neck with thick, protruding lip, corked. Bottle is full of amber-coloured oil. Bottle is empty and clean, oil removed by conservation.


Example of pharmaceuticals used in a mentall health hospital in Victoria Australia

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