Here’s another room for you to explore. It’s the laboratory, where medicines were prepared in advance and raw materials and medicines were tested. The word "laboratory" derives from Latin “labor”, meaning work or indeed labour. That’s why a workbench once stood here, like the one you see on the right. And until well into the late 19th century the equipment included several ovens and open heat sources where ingredients were melted, incinerated and distilled.
Let's first turn to the workbench, where you can see many pieces of special equipment for preparing medicines. Tincture presses, tablet presses, test tubes. Note the handsome glass apparatus with three spherical containers, to the left of the oven. It’s called a “Kipp apparatus”, or sometimes a Kipp generator, and was invented in 1844 by the Dutch pharmacist and chemist Petrus Jacobus Kipp. The apparatus is used to produce and store small quantities of gases. One such gas would have been hydrogen, which can be produced by the action of a liquid, usually an acid, on a solid.
The photographs on the wall above the workbench are from the 1920s. As you’ll have noticed, they weren’t taken here at the Obertor Pharmacy. They show glimpses of the time Walter Quinke spent studying pharmacy in Brunswick.
The display case opposite features more essential lab equipment.
All depictions: © Trüpschuch