Celebrating the History of American Pharmacy

Published on 20 November 2018

In 1930, a group of students started assembling a history of pharmacy museum. Led by Eugene Clark, associate professor of pharmacognosy, the students reconstructed a pharmacy that captured the spirit of early American pharmacy. Fixtures from an old St. Louis pharmacy were acquired to exhibit medicine bottles, show globes, mortars and pestles, pill machines and other artifacts. The museum also featured a collection of pharmaceutical label catalogs dating back to the 19th century, as well as old prescription files dating back to the Civil War era.

In addition, the museum featured an exhibit of old drug wholesalers’ catalogs, drug bills, newspaper ads for drugs and photographs of old drugstore exteriors. The student group also acquired a display case from Burroughs, Welcome and Company from London and New York, which showcased how they manufactured various drugs.

The museum opened in 1931 on the fourth floor of Jones Hall before relocating to the library. While the museum no longer exists, many artifacts are still preserved in the College’s archives.

This story was first published in the spring 2018 issue of Script. Visit stlcop.edu/script to read more and access previous issues.

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