Rothschild Apothecary Shop

Step back through time as you enter the Rothschild Apothecary Shop, an authentic recreation of a c.1900 pharmacy! Donated by Alan Rothschild in honor of the Rothschild Apothecary Shop that proudly served downtown Syracuse, the Shop exhibit now provides a window into life, health, and medicine in the early 20th century. Discover the origins of our modern-day sodas, find out what medicine you may have been prescribed for a toothache, and practice hands-on techniques used in the shop more than a hundred years ago! Exhibit access subject to staff availability.

Big Ideas: Life Sciences, Medical Science, Pharmacy Science, History


Apothecaries like the Rothschild Apothecary Shop c.1900 were used to treat various ailments. Some remedies for common illnesses at the turn of the century may sound familiar, while many others may surprise you! Learn more about common illnesses and how they used to be treated:

  • Common Cold: laxatives, eucalyptus, pine tar, creosote, codeine, plasters (contain lead), hot pepper, & mustard
  • Stomach Ache: Mint tea
  • Asthma: Theophylline, smoking belladonna plants such as Jimson weed
  • Arthritis: Aspirin & hemlock
  • Headache: Aspirin & lavender oil applied directly to the head
  • Toothache: Clove, aconite, chloroform, & chloral hydrate
  • The “Winter Blahs”: Strychnine, cocaine wine, & soft drinks