A.S. Taylor’s Poison Bottle Recommendations


The two images shown below were recently shared by Peter Hodds, who acquired the handwritten documentation of Alfred Swaine Taylor from a recent sale in the UK. The documents were written by and belonged to Mr. Taylor’s long-lost archive relating to his profession in the 19th century as a medical jurisprudence professor.

Alfred Swaine Taylor wrote many books and pamphlets throughout his career surrounding medicine and the advancements of principle and practice. In the shown documentation, he suggests altering the containers (bottles) that store poisonous chemicals from the similar or repurposed medicinal containers (bottles). He notes changing the shape of the bottles to be distinguishable by touch, as well as clearly labelling the bottles that contain poison.


This hand-written example in his own hand are a treasure, not only for the historical value as preserved documentation of medical history in the 19thcentury, but also to establish a specific moment for bottle collectors in the early beginnings of denoting the transformations between poison bottles and medicine bottles that collectors distinguish today.

For more information on Alfred Swaine Taylor’s life and career, visit these articles: