Author Topic: Pill coaters Assistant  (Read 645 times)

Offline iwccc

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Pill coaters Assistant
« on: Wednesday 28 February 18 01:58 GMT (UK) »
Has anyone got any thoughts on what a pill makers assistant would do in the 1900's in London.
This must have been around the time when machinery was being invented to make pills.  Would this machinery then make the occupation no longer feasible?   Would this be a reason to change occupations?  Would the pills be made in local areas at the request of the doctor or were there larger establishments to make pills?  Any help would be much appreciated.

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Offline cati

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Re: Pill coaters Assistant
« Reply #1 on: Wednesday 28 February 18 02:28 GMT (UK) »
As far as I remember, this was mentioned in the BBC series "Victorian Pharmacy" (made in 2010).  Many pharmacists made their own patent medicines, including pills, which could be bought over the counter without the need for a prescription. A "doctor's prescription" merely meant that the doctor had said "Give him some liver pills" (or whatever).  And before the NHS, there was no such thing as a free prescription, and the doctor had to be paid.  Much cheaper just to ask the local chemist.

Many companies also manufactured pills: Beecham's Pills were first marketed in 1842.

 Many of the chemist-made remedies contained opium or cocaine: I suspect that the decline would also be linked to government regulation of medicines.
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Offline iwccc

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Re: Pill coaters Assistant
« Reply #2 on: Wednesday 28 February 18 22:46 GMT (UK) »
Hi Cati,  Thanks for your input.  Some good points.  Much appreciated

Online philipsearching

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Re: Pill coaters Assistant
« Reply #3 on: Friday 02 March 18 16:58 GMT (UK) »
At the risk of stating the obvious - pills were often covered in a sweet (generally sugar) substance to mask the bitterness of the medication.

TRIVIA FACT OF THE DAY:
This is the origin of the expression "don't sugar-coat it" said when requesting information however painful it might be.

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Offline iwccc

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Re: Pill coaters Assistant
« Reply #4 on: Saturday 03 March 18 10:14 GMT (UK) »
Thanks phillpsearching,  Some good information in your post.  I appreciate your input.  Like the reminder of 'don't sugar coat it".

Online philipsearching

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Re: Pill coaters Assistant
« Reply #5 on: Saturday 03 March 18 11:14 GMT (UK) »
Thanks phillpsearching,  Some good information in your post.  I appreciate your input.  Like the reminder of 'don't sugar coat it".

Compliments are always welcome.
Criticism can sometimes be "a bitter pill to swallow".  (OK, that completes the pill references)  :)
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Southwark - MOUNT, BOWBRICK        Clonakilty to Southwark -  CRISPIN      Lambeth - LYON       Hoxton - WALTERS     Gwennap - JAMES, GRAY, TREWARTHA       Antrim - CORDNER, SANDYS         Peru - SOTELO, MOREY, BASELLI

Offline majm

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Re: Pill coaters Assistant
« Reply #6 on: Saturday 03 March 18 12:56 GMT (UK) »
OK, that completes the pill references :)

NOT so.   An apPILL a day keeps the doctor away.

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Offline joboy

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Re: Pill coaters Assistant
« Reply #7 on: Saturday 31 March 18 11:12 BST (UK) »
My first job at age 15 was as an 'improver' (?) with the Foster MacLellan Company who made 'Doan's Pills (for back ache).It was at the latter end of WW2.
My first job was in making the tablet prior to coating it.
Coating the tablet was done in a line of concrete type machines where the tablets where a talc solution was ladled on the product whilst the machine was revolving until the right quantity was  achieved then it was coloured with a brown beeswax solution.
At no time was sugar used.
The tablet machines (about 12) were all belt driven and each punched out one tablet per second now there are machines that are known as 'multiples' and there are no leather belts.

So long ago.
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Offline iwccc

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Re: Pill coaters Assistant
« Reply #8 on: Friday 06 April 18 00:46 BST (UK) »
Hello Joboy,  Thank you for your input into the life of.a pillmaker.  I notice that my grandfather would have worked in this occupation at an earlier stage than you.  I guess there would have been similar processes as well as modern ideas. I appreciate your help in this.