gibson's linseed, liquorice and chloroform lozenges

This large tin canister once held seven pounds of a very interesting product. These linseed, liquorice, and chloroform lozenges were produced by Gibson & Sons Ltd in Manchester, England, during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

 

The idea of using chloroform for medicinal purposes may strike you as surprising, but from around the 1850s the substance became very popular as a treatment for a wide variety of conditions, from respiratory issues to diarrhea. We know now, of course, that chloroform is toxic and often lethal, but sedative qualities kept it in circulation well into the 20th century.