This medicine bottle was discovered beneath the parlor floor boards of the “Levine Apartment” at historic 97 Orchard Street. The Tenement Museum discovered the bottle during an extensive month long stabilization project. The bottle bears the label of “The Good Samaritan Dispensary, Cor. Essex and Broome Sts.,” and the label is in both English and German. Inside the bottle, the Tenement Museum's curatorial team discovered one side is coated with a cracked layer of a dark substance—evidently the effect of the bottle lying on one side for decades.
The bottle originated at the Eastern & Good Samaritan Dispensary. Dispensaries were municipally-funded, medical walk-in facilities offering free or low-cost care to the poor. Each dispensary had a salaried physician-in-residence, available at the dispensary from roughly nine to five Monday through Saturday, and for a few hours on Sundays. An apothecary was also on duty during the same hours to pull teach and to fill prescriptions like the bottle we discovered. This bottle helps the Museum tell the story of the networks of support that existed within the community for the residents of 97 Orchard street and their neighbors.
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– The Tenement Museum