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Three medicine bottles and an ink bottle – part of my small collection.
The slightly opaque bottle on the right has a bit of a story behind it.

When I lived on Great Barrier Island off the coast of North Island, New Zealand, our property used to be part of the Blackwell Farm, an early settler from the late 1800’s early 1900’s. In those days, alcohol was expensive and hard to come by so people who would normally look for liquor, ordered cases of Davis’ Vegetable Pain Killer. Boy, did it kill the pain – it was opium based !
On Blackwells Farm they had a farmhand by the name of Johnny – no other name was ever known although he came from the Channel Islands in England.
Johnny was an avid user of Davis’ medicine and became known as ’ Johnny Painkiller.’ When he died he was buried in a beautiful little private churchyard owned by the Blackwell family – you can see the tombstone today. The only inscription says ’ Johnny.’
The bottle was found in an outcrop of rocks just to the back of our house in Blackwell Drive. The fact that it was not smashed tells me it could have been placed there, probably by Johnny himself.
The small ink bottle was found while builders were digging the foundations on the waterfront for a new set of apartments in Paihia, Bay of Islands, New Zealand. It was unopened but the ink had turned to hard little lumps.

Lumix GH2 at 25mm, exposure 1.6s, f/7.1, iso160, tripod used.

From a single RAW image.


  • Roy  Massicks
    Roy Massicksalmost 3 years ago

  • Julie  White
    Julie Whitealmost 3 years ago

    Awesome work Roy.

  • Many thanks Julie – I have some more but I’m limited by lack of space !

    – Roy Massicks

  • Thank you also for the favourite – much appreciated.

    – Roy Massicks

  • marilyn diaz
    marilyn diazalmost 3 years ago

    Nice collection. Really enjoyed the history behind the bottles. A fave.

  • Thank you so much Marilyn – for the kind comments and the favourite. Great Barrier Island is an isolated place and so much of its history is fascinating!

    – Roy Massicks

  • myraj
    myrajalmost 3 years ago

    Great shot and very interesting reading Roy.

  • Many thanks Myra – having lived on the island for twelve years we have quite a few stories to tell !
    Thank you also for the favourite.

    – Roy Massicks

  • lynn carter
    lynn carteralmost 3 years ago

    interesting story Roy, great image too xx

  • Much appreciate your comments Lynn – history abounded on Gt. Barrier Island. Just at the back of the shop we owned was one of the oldest buildings in New Zealand and that belonged to the Blackwells. Incidentally, several families of Blackwell still live on the Island. Plus, one of our storehouses at the back of the shop used to belong to Sir Edmund Hillary, it was his honey house from when he kept bees and before he went climbing mountains.

    – Roy Massicks

  • Mary Sedici
    Mary Sedicialmost 3 years ago

    MARCH 6th,

    See your work in the Permanents Featured Gallery
    ►Please participate in the ongoing Challenges

  • WOW ! Thank you so much Mary – I appreciate the honour !

    – Roy Massicks

  • Tracy66
  • Thank you very much Tracy for the invite – have taken the liberty of posting two images. Thank you also for your kind comment.

    – Roy Massicks

  • Tracy66
    Tracy66almost 3 years ago
  • Thank you so much Tracy, honoured indeed !

    – Roy Massicks

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