The Rose Melnick Medical Museum in Youngstown, Ohio

The Rose Melnick Medical Museum
655 Wick Avenue, Youngstown, Ohio 44555

The Rose Melnick Medical Museum was founded in 1985 by Youngstown radiologist Dr. John C. Melnick. It was Dr. Melnick’s dream to create a museum that would cultivate an interest in medicine and promote medical history among the students, physicians, and general public of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley. With the grand opening of the Museum on October 15, 2001, his dream became a reality.

The Museum is named in honor of Dr. Melnick’s mother, Rose Melnick, who inspired him to pursue a life in medicine. It is located in Melnick Hall on the Youngstown State University campus, a facility that was dedicated on June 8, 2000. The Museum houses thousands of medical artifacts consisting of instruments, equipment, and research materials documenting the history of medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, and nursing with a local focus.

The Museum displays permanent and changing exhibits on the history of medicine, offers lectures on various medical topics, and serves as a research facility and gathering place for the medical community and the general public.

Article from The Rose Melnick Medical Museum, entitled Early Pharmaceutical Tools:

Pills, or lozenges, have been made by hand (with or without pill tiles) for centuries. For example, the ancient Greeks on the island of Lemnos mixed herbs and other medicines with packed earth to make pills. They might have made these pills with their hands or used specialized tools. Another common and simple technique for ingesting powdered medicine was to dissolve or suspend it in water. However, this was unpopular because many solutions had a bad taste.

“Pill machines” were invented in Germany around 1750 to assist pharmacists in making several standardized lozenges at a time. Some machines made as many as 50 pills, but the more popular machines made 18 to 24. At first they were made of wood, but later parts of the machine were made out of brass. After the pill “mass” was created by mixing the medicine with other non-active ingredients, it would be rolled out to an even thickness using the flat board and a rolling pin. The pharmacist could then use the grooved parts of the machine to mold the pills into rounded shapes on both sides. When the mass dried, the pills could be broken along the lines of the grooves, creating smooth, identical forms. Some pharmacists also used a “pill finisher” to coat the lozenges with gelatin, varnish, or fine talc powder. Pill machines were made and used in the United States until about 1930.

Brass Mortar & Pestle with Pill Tile