Chemist Shop assistant at McConachie of Keith by George Watt

The location of Kate and Francis McConachie's Chemist shop in Keith

The location of Kate and Francis McConachie’s Chemist shop in Keith

His sister worked at the chemist and when his sister left then George got her job. She worked for them for five years until 1942 when she left as George started there at the age of 14. George earned 14 /- a week or 4d. an hour. The shop was run by two old maids called Kate and Francis McConachie. Kate in particular was well thought of in Keith. It was a lovely shop to look at with many coloured glass bottles filled with potions and powders. Green glass bottles were reserved by poisonous substances such as Lysol and acids. Prescriptions were written by the doctor and the chemists were paid to make them up.
Tablets were made in the back of the shop using powders that were put into trays which were then rolled up to compress them. Hair lotions were also made up in the back room. They contained oils. Ingredients were crushed in a mortar and pestle. The shop also made face and hand creams.

George also worked as a delivery boy on a bike. He was called up for National Service in the RAF from 1946-1948, where he was based at Boyndie Airfieldnear Banff.

Memory contributed by George Watt of Aberlour

Additional Information

Related memory on this website
Margaret Lloyd was related to Kate and Franis through her mother. They were her Great Aunts. She spoke about them when she was interviewed for this project in April 2014.
Read it here.

Link to more information about the McConachie family in Keith.

Libindx had information about Kate- born in 1894 and died in 1977 aged 84. Her occupation is a pharmacist. Search Libindx under a people search or surname explorer.
Her sister, Francis was born in 1894 and died in 1975 at the age of 81. No profession is given for her. As they were born in the same year they could be twins.

More information about tablets are made from a powder and a dye.

The History of Chemist Shops- Science museum

Image of Chemist Shop bottles from the 1940s in New Orleans

Images of poison bottles from the Operating Museum collection


One thought on “Chemist Shop assistant at McConachie of Keith by George Watt

  1. Frances Forsyth McConnachie (born 1-11 1897)(McConnachie spelt with two n’s) was my step grandmother, she married my grandfather John Joseph McConnachie in South Africa in 1957. She was his second cousin. They retired to Keith.

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