Credit: Chilliwack Museum and Archives, 1982.015.003
One of three medicine bottles used by a farm hand named Chung at the farm of Al Evans (1867-1944). The medicine was used for the treatment of tuberculosis. Chung passed away c. 1930 in Chinatown.
Note: Bottles such as this are often referred to as “opium” bottles. These bottles contained Chinese remedies, not opium, which was a heavy paste and contained in tins.
Fact or Fiction activity answer:
FACT – Initially, Chilliwack authorities appear to have tolerated opium because it caused little disturbance, even less than alcohol. British Columbia Supreme Court Judge Matthew Begbie testified in 1884 that opium “was not nearly as dangerous to the public peace as whiskey”. While used recreationally, opium was also widely used for medicinal purposes.
As early as 1892, opium dens were being reported in the local newspapers. The importation, processing and sale of opium was only made illegal in 1908.