A 4-part historical documentary series that looks at life in the 19th Century and how people attempted to cure common ailments.
The last programme in the series sees Ruth, Tom and Nick continue with Barber and Goodman's Pharmacy through to the end of the Victorian era. Tom branches out into photography and dentistry using the latest technology, such as the foot-pedal dental drill. Ruth makes condoms out of sheep's intestines. Nick learns how to make the Victorian version of aspirin - producing a cure for warts and corns along the way. And for those customers who like a little pampering, the team turn their hands to making their very own brand of perfume. As they shut up shop for the last time, the team reflect on a revolution in public healthcare that put a chemist's shop in every town in the country.
The pharmacy enters a period of new inventions and new laws. In 1868 pharmacies were regulated by law for the very first time - and Ruth, Tom and Nick face a taste of the tough examinations pharmacists went through to become qualified. They also explore the world of poisons and hazards that were completely unregulated until this time - from arsenic and opium to explosives. But the lack of restrictions they had enjoyed enabled 'experimental chemists' to invent products ranging from matches to fireworks, to custard and jelly. The team learn the processes involved in each, and lay on a Victorian style firework display for their customers.