Apothecary (Lat. apothecarius, from Gr.Apothecary 100382 a shop or store), one who prepares and dispenses medicines. Apothecaries formerly sold herbs and drugs and spices, and by long practice in the art of preparing tinctures, sirups, powders, extracts, pills, and medicated waters, they became a special corporation, distinct from grocers and in some places from druggists, and were organized into a privileged body in the civilized parts of Europe, during the middle ages. In England the corporation still exists, in virtue of a royal charter, and with power to confer licenses on its members, who are invested with the right to administer medicine, as well as to prepare it and sell it in shops. A large proportion of the medical practitioners in England are only apothecaries; but the corporation enlarges its curriculum of studies and examinations as occasion may require. The royal college of surgeons in London also has a charter, and a right to give diplomas, which are honorary, and confer no legal right to practise medicine and to sue for payment. Most young apothecaries, however, now obtain them before they venture to practise as surgeons.

In France the old corporation of apothecary druggists has been dissolved, and a new chartered corporation of pharmaciens has been substituted in its place. These keep shops, prepare medicines, and make up prescriptions, but have no legal right to practise as physicians. In the United States there is neither law nor custom to prevent an apothecary from practising as a physician. It is only lately that any legal restric-tions have been placed upon the dispensing of the most powerful drugs by any boy whom the proprietor of an apothecary's shop might choose to employ. - In apothecaries' weight, used in dispensing medicines, the pound (lb) is divided into 12 ounces (Apothecary 100383 ), the ounce into 8 drams (3), the dram into 3 scruples (Э), and the scruple into 20 grains (grs.). In the wholesale drug trade avoirdupois weight is used.