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John L. Davis medicinal formulae and household recipes


Held at: University of Delaware Library Special Collections [Contact Us]181 South College Avenue, Newark, DE 19717-5267

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Delaware Library Special Collections. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

John L. Davis, a chemist at the Powers and Weightman Chemical Company in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, during the mid to late nineteenth century.

Information derived from the collection.

Philadelphia chemist John Davis’s manuscript book is filled with medicinal formulae and numerous laid-in receipts and household hints. There are over 135 items as varied as medicinal receipts, graduation announcements, poetry, sketches, and a silhouette.

This nineteenth century manuscript book of medicinal formulae belonged to John L. Davis, a chemist at the Powers and Weightman Chemical Company in Philadelphia. The book is lacking its covers and contains 238 lined pages of which about ninety feature tipped-in receipts and newspaper clippings of advertisements. More than 135 loose items, such as clippings, sketches, and other ephemera have been removed from the volume and housed with the collection in a separate folder.

The incomplete un-bound book begins with an index starting with the letter "E." The volume contains medicinal formulae, household recipes, and beauty hints. Receipts include instructions for ginger beer, bug poison, hope’s dysentery mixture, black ink, cologne, hair dye, spiced brandy, and cholera mixture. The separated clippings and ephemera vary in topic and are often dated. These include poems, medicinal receipts from doctors' offices, sketches, a silhouette, and graduation announcements. A letter dated 1896 is addressed to "John L. Davis, c/o Powers & Weightman, 9th & Parrish Sts., Philadelphia."

  1. Item 0108: Shelved in SPEC MSS 0097

Gift of Barry Moyerman, 1974.

Processed and encoded by Lindsey Baker, June 2007. Updated by E. Evan Echols, August 2015.

University of Delaware Library Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
Finding Aid Date
2007 July 27
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections, University of Delaware Library,

Collection Inventory

John L. Davis medicinal formulae and household recipes, 1861-1896. 1 volume.
Item 0108
Physical Description

1 volume

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