Dutch pharmaceutical furnace, early 18th century, and three retorts,19th century.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Furnaces of many kinds formed the chief equipment of the laboratories which produced the medicines, drugs, esences, flavours and cosmetics of the 17th and 18th centuries. This picture shows a fine Dutch bras furnace, a large glas retort on the left, a cream-coloured Wedgwood pottery retort in the centre foreground, and a stoneware retort in the middle. The retorts all come from St Bartholomew's hospital in London.