Bristol-Myers Squibb European Apothecary Wooden Drug Jars

Turned wooden drug jars with wooden lids were prevalent in central Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries. They are generally associated with the Germanic countries but were also found in the Alsace region in France. Wooden containers were made from boxwood or linden wood and used for dried botanicals.  (Griffenhagen pg. 11)

Examples in the Bristol Myers Squibb Collection demonstrate how wooden drug jars were utilized and recycled.  The jars were painted, sometimes with shields or animals or with the name of the plant contained inside. The jars were reused by turning the jar around and repainting on them on the opposite side. Several of the jars in the BMS collection show remnants of old paint and the outlines of previous designs.