Community Pharmacist


Community Pharmacist


Promotional 17th century Delft reproduction ceramic pill tile produced by the Burroughs, Wellcome & Co. for their Pharmacy Education Fund. The front of the tile depicts a pharmacist looking in a a patients mouth to diagnose their medical condition. There are unicorns depicted in each of the upper corners of the tile. The following description is glued to the back of the tile on a piece of paper. "In 17th century London, the pharmacist played an important role in his community. Besides compounding and dispensing medicines, pharmacists were frequently called upon to diagnose and treat ailments. They became know for their availability at all times—especially during emergencies. During the Great Plague of 1665, for example, many pharmacists remained in their shops, filling in for the physicians who had fled the stricken city. Because of this dependable service, the pharmacy evolved into a sort of medicinal clinic—not unlike today’s emergency rooms. To honor pharmacists for their professionalism and dedicated service, pill tiles, used for the preparation of medications, were awarded to druggists who successfully completed their formal training. This handmade tile from Delft, Holland, depicts a typical scene from the 17th century pharmacy: a pharmacist diagnosing his customer's ailment by examining his tongue. This tile is part of a limited edition commissioned by Burroughs, Wellcome & Co., in recognition of today's pharmacy community. (B-920)"



Tiles copyrighted by Burroughs, Wellcome & Co.







6 in x 6 in

Temporal Coverage

Original Format


Burroughs, Wellcome & Co., “Community Pharmacist,” American Institute of the History of Pharmacy Digital Collection, accessed July 23, 2024,