A clear Boots the Chemist glass bottle. This bottle may have held a liquid or powder to cure ailments. There would have been a stopper in the top so the contents were kept fresh as well as to stop spillages. It is unclear what this particular bottle would have contained. Boots bottles from the 1910’s had the word “Cash” next to the Boots name. This was to advertise that all purchases were to be paid in cash and no credit was available.

History of Boots the Chemist

In 1849 John Boot opened an herbalist store in Nottingham selling alternative medicines at prices the customer could afford. Following his death in 1860 John’s wife Mary and son Jesse continued the company and continued to expand the business. From starting out producing products in a small cottage this grew to a large factory. Developing and research of Boots own products continues to this day.

A flagship store was opened in Pelham Street, Nottingham in 1892 with other stores in the same design following. It wasn’t just medicinal, household & beauty products that the company provided instore but in 1898 they set up a Boots Booklovers Library. This service provided customers at a small fee the chance to borrow books to read at affordable prices.

The company also took staff welfare very seriously with canteens, sick rooms, evening classes and study at the Boots Day Continuation School.

Other notable facts about Boots Chemist:

1915 – Research and manufacture of Aspirin and supply of medication to field hospitals in WWI
1925 – First 24-hour pharmacy opens in London
1935 – Number Seven beauty range launched
1939 – Soltan suntan cream launched
1944 – Boots mass produce Penicillin
1968 – No 17 launched
1968 – Boots purchase 622 Timothy Whites & Taylor stores
1969 – After 16 years of research by Boots they manufacture and sell Brufen – Ibuprofen an anti-                    inflammatory medication
1983 – Open their first opticians. There are now over over 550 Boots opticians

Today Boots has 4,428 shops worldwide. 2,336 are in the UK with the next largest country being Mexico with 1,165 Boots stores.


Key theme(s):


More information:

Date 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s
Material(s) Glass
Item number MBPO310

Questions to help you remember using this item

  • Can you remember having a bottle like this in your medicine cabinet?
  • Would it have come pre-filled or would you have taken it to the chemist to be filled?
  • Do you prefer shopping at large chemists or the small independent shops?

Share your thoughts on this item

Join the discussion by sharing your memories of this item with other website visitors.