What Was Good for What Ailed You, Curatives and Remedies in the 1800s

From 1868 to 1872, Charles H. Jaggar and his staff meticulously numbcrcJ anJ record ed in a ledger the “recipe” for every pre­scription prepared at Jaggar’s Drug and Chemical Store on Nantucket’s Main Street. Each dated entry bore the name of the recipient and the directions for use. Today, visitors to the Edouard A. Stackpole Library and Research Center can view the well-preserved book entitled “Prescription Book No. 2,” donated to the NHA in 1997 by Adrienne Downey, a niece of Walter Fiairbanks, who was the pharmacist at Congdon’s in 1937. Used with other archival materials – including an earlier prescription book for the years 1855-61 – diaries, newspaper accounts, and advertisements of the period, the prescription book offers a glimpse into Nantuckcters’ ills and ailments as well as their cures and restoratives immediatcly after the Civil War.

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The Nantucket Historical Association preserves and interprets the history of Nantucket through its programs, collections, and properties, in order to promote the island’s significance and foster an appreciation of it among all audiences.

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