Inside Mass. General Hospital's museum
This traveling medicine chest, or apothecary kit, stamped S. Cabot of Readville, is presumed to have belonged to Dr. Samuel Cabot (18151885), a surgeon at MGH from 1853 to 1882. The wooden chest with brass drawer pulls and handle has hinged shelves that close for convenient carrying and compartmentalized drawers to keep medications separate and protected. It also includes dishes and implements for mixing prescriptions. The bottles, containing vegetable and meat extracts and various chemicals in liquid or powder form, are topped by cork or glass stoppers, typical of the period. Upper and middle class patients preferred to receive medical care at home, and portable kits were a common feature of the doctors collection of resources in the 19th century.