Samuel Hahnemann's Drug Kit

This brown, leather-covered case with hinged lid was used by German physician Dr. Samuel C. F. Hahnemann (1755–1843) the founder of homeopathy. It contains three trays holding 146 small vials of pellets, and an end compartment in which powder papers are stored.
Hahnemann developed homeopathy in reaction to bloodletting and purging and other violent medical practices of his time. Experimenting on himself, Hahnmann created a new drug therapy system based on the principle of "similia similibus curentur," or "like cures like." This system purports that drugs eliciting certain symptoms are useful in treating illnesses with like effects. In order to decrease the toxic side-effects of the drugs, Hahnemann stressed that homeopathic preparations be heavily diluted.
Homeopathy is still widely practiced around the world. It is well represented within NMAH, including a collection of over 2,000 historic objects from the Boericke & Tafel Homeopathic Pharmacy in Philadelphia.
Currently not on view
Object Name
drug kit
homeopathic preparations
homeopathic drug kit
drug kit, homeopathic
Date made
ca 1840
when donated
Physical Description
glass, ?, transparent (vials(197) material)
leather (box(1) material)
leather (trays(4) material)
paper (sheets (paper)(?) material)
overall: 2 1/4 in x 5 1/4 in x 7 in; 5.715 cm x 13.335 cm x 17.78 cm
overall: 2 3/8 in x 7 in x 5 1/4 in; 6.0325 cm x 17.78 cm x 13.335 cm
place made
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Health & Medicine
Homeopathic Remedies
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift from Drs. J. Perry Seward & Henry B. Minton

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