The Flu and old medicine bottles

old-pharmacy-bottlesThe swine flu has gotten a lot of air time in the last few days and it got me wondering about flu and cold remedies which led me to old medicine bottles.

I came upon this group of New Jersey medicine bottles on a site called Cape May County Bottle Collectors. The site does not go into a great deal of detail on their history, but I would guess they were produced in the second half of the 19th century. Doctors and pharmacists would fill them with their proprietary products.

They are refreshingly simple in appearance, mostly clear glass with black typography in a variety of letter forms. They almost seem to be folk art meeting medical commerce in their naive simplicity. I guess that is what efficaciousness looked like 120 years ago.

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About Richard Shear

designer, husband, teacher, blogger, father, athlete, author, historian Richard has over 25 years of brand identity and package design experience, with a wide range of clients such as Ahold, Coca-Cola, Hasbro, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Pernod Ricard and Procter & Gamble. He began his career working with the legendary advertising art director, and AIGA Medalist, George Lois and the British design manager Clive Chajet. In his next design management position at Lippincott & Margulies, he worked with Walter Margulies learning the complex skills of global corporate identity. He then became Creative Director and Partner at Peterson & Blyth, one of the premier brand identity and package design firms of the time. He is a founding faculty member of the Masters in Branding Program at New York’s School of Visual Arts. He publishes the blog The Package Unseen, and has been a guest lecturer at colleges including FIT, Trinity College and Tyler School of Art. He is a graduate of the Tyler School of Art at Temple University. Richard is a Board member of the AIGA MetroNorth Chapter, past President of AIGA‘s Brand Design Association, President of the Package Design Council and a member of its Board of Directors. He is a member of USA Cycling and US Rowing, a nationally ranked masters bicycle racer, and a member of The Saugatuck Rowing Club, the 2010 Masters Club National Champion.
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