Up until its prohibition in 1937, Cannabis was the third most used compound in medicine for sixty years running. Indica, a strain imported from India, was thought to be the superior medicinal option but inconsistent supply required the U.S. to develop its own strain. After a collaboration between pharmaceutical companies Eli Lilly & Co and Parke-Davis & Co in the 1890's, an improved variety called Cannabis Americana came on the market in the form of herbal materials and tinctures-liquid extracts that kept cannabinoids in their raw, physiologically inactive state.
The glass apothecary bottles themselves were something of a work of art-hand-lettered labels reverse painted and affixed to a recessed panel using yellow wax and rosin. Made in Millville, New Jersey, this flint glass bottle was designed for frequent use and stands 12.25 inches tall, including the blown glass stopper. This particular bottle shows its longevity with the careful repair of a small crack in the letter C on its left side.
Industry pioneer Don Wirtshafter was inspired to collect the remaining historical evidence of the use of Cannabis as a medicine. Eager to curate and present images of this obscure, yet increasingly relevant era, he teamed with historian and paper and textile preservationist Paul MacFarland. The two then partnered with CannabisMuseum.com to bring the bottles and their medicinal use back into the limelight—the result is a piece of history that continues to gain relevance and importance today.
Here, a part of their collection is photographed in stunning detail by Ohio-based photographer David Hooker. Set against a backdrop of a 13-star, colonial-style flag made in the early 20th century, this image serves as both an educational and intriguing touch of history for your home. Made in Oregon.
Click here to see Cannabis Apothecary Jars and Cannabis Tincture Jars.