Specializing in Authentic Civil War Artifacts
  • Quinine Pill Container / SOLD

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    Quinine Pill Container - Inventory Number: MED 231 / SOLD

    This pasteboard container would have contained Quinine, an essential medicine quinine.  In America, during the Civil War quinine was the closest thing to a miracle drug known to Civil War physicians. Malaria, yellow fever, and other tropical diseases had several symptoms in common, including fevers, chills, and nausea. In the early stages of these diseases, Southern Civil War physicians gauged the illness by the frequency of recurring fever, hence “intermit- tent,” “remittent,” “tertiary,” or “quotidian” fevers. Physicians of the time did not connect mosquitoes to malaria, but they did know quinine was a sure way to ease its symptoms. The problem was getting and administering the drug, especially getting it in quantity. Sadly, the South struggled through the war years with what quinine it could smuggle or capture.

    It was a different story for the North, which had excess quinine. Philadelphia-based Zeitler and Rosengarten had the foresight to hire French chemist, John Michael Maisch, who first isolated the alkaloid from cinchona bark and within three years of the discovery was selling quinine. They obtained cinchona in bulk at low cost and processed it to obtain the quinine, which was then extracted into sulfate. Maisch, working for the Union army, ensured the purity of the drug, developed standard doses, and oversaw the packaging and labeling of the drugs for distribution to the army medical depots.

    Comes housed in 5 x 6 riker display case with black velvet and descriptive card.

    Inventory Number: MED 231 / SOLD