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Virol stoneware pot

Item details

Object number M-448
Manufacturer Virol
Place United Kingdom
Date 1900s
Category Curiosities and miscellaneous
Material Stoneware


Bovril started making Virol Bone Marrow experimentally in 1899 at their London factory and by 1900 it went into commercial production. Virol was a nutritious supplement made from ox rib and calf bone marrow. At first it was sold in chemist shops in the England and in 1913 it was taken to the USA and promoted widely by doctors. Production continued until the 1940’s.

The label on the pot displayed describes Virol as “ A preparation of bone marrow - an ideal fat food for children and invalids”. Virol advertisements strongly advocated that “School children need Virol”. Babies, new mothers and the infirm were encouraged to take a spoon of the supplement each day to help strengthen the body and grow strong bones – it was often spread on toast. A dehydrated version of Virol was also produced to be dissolved in milk or water.

Various sizes of pot were available and for a number of years the wording on some pots inferred an endorsement of the product from the Lancet.