Drug Stores from Bygone Days


Drug Stores from Bygone Days

10 April 2014

Apple-Touch-IconAI know of some traffic routes now where I pass a Walgreens, Rite Aid, and CVS Pharmacy in succession. Usually when nearing a hospital. These homogenous drug stores and the drugs stores within grocery stores all look, feel and smell the same to me. Bright lights, rows and rows of merchandise,  candy galore, and oddly promoted holiday decorations that seem way to early for their purpose, dominate my field of vision. An experience that quite frankly, I try to avoid.


I wish I could find some old drug stores like this picture of the Charles Young Drug Store on Franklin Street in Johnstown above. Captured in time, this picture and the ones below give a glimpse of a more basic and proud time. Signs were still needed, shelf space was a premium and the corner was still the best place to get traffic. Look closely al all of the brands being advertised and the bottles that are being displayed.


Street scene at the Fiesta in Santa Fe, New Mexico, July 1940


Peoples Drug Store No 5 “We Always Sell The Best” – Shorpy


Washington, D.C., circa 1921. People’s Drug Store, 18th street & Columbia road. at Store no. 10, window displays of grape juice, cigars, washcloths and mag-lac toothpaste and toothbrushes.


‘Ghost Jerk 1909’ – Detroit circa 1909. “Bertram Bros. drug store — Detroit City Gas Co. light fixtures.” Spectral clerks and a nice soda fountain are the featured attractions. Detroit Publishing Company. – Shorpy


Peoples Drug Store, New York

1 - b&w print, circa

Before downtown Hood River was populated with brick buildings it was a bustling commercial district of small wooden structures. This drug store was one of the finest examples, showing both the classic western “false front” and a beautiful oriel window over the entrance. This building was probably the Williams and Brosius Drug store. Dr. Brosius came to Hood River in 1891. He bought a medical practice and this drug store on the northeast corner to 3rd and Oak. This spot looks a bit different now. The photo studio to the north is very possibly that of W.D. Rogers, who we met in an earlier post. I’ll leave the identity of the neighbor to the east a mystery for now, since there is a great picture and story behind it which deserves its own posting. Bicycles were very popular in the 1890’s. They were a fast way to make the trip to town to pick up a patent remedy or make a phone call, though the trip back up the hill might not be as quick. – Historic Hood River


Dr. Patterson’s Pills


Bolton Drug Co., Wm. Martin & Drug, Union & Columbia streets, Brooklyn


Washington, D.C., circa 1920. “People’s Drug Store, 14th & U Streets, interior.” Is flyaway hair holding you back? Keeping you home those evenings your friends are out having a gay night on the town? Those loose strands may be a symptom of deeper ills — malnutrition the consequence of egg-based-beverage deficiency, perhaps aggravated by tooth-brushing with an inferior dentifrice. Ladies, am I talking to you? Then come see this man. He is the gatekeeper to hair-nets, toothpaste, Egg Drinks — and so much more. (Rubber gloves, for one thing, but that’s another story.) The day you pick up a Glemby Hair Net — or two, or hell, why not a dozen — is the first day of the rest of your life! – Shorpy


Washington, D.C., circa 1921. Peoples Drug Store group, 7th and K Streets. – Find the 2 stock boys? – Shorpy


Our Cigar Department, Peoples Drug Store at 14th and Park Road, Washington, D.C.

PeoplesDrugStore 7th and K Streets Natl Photo Co 29518u

The 7th and K Streets NW store, circa 1919, Library of Congress.


F.A. Cooke Drugs in Chicago, early 1900s. The image has a rare wooden candy vendor mounted to the exterior wall. One of my coin-op reference books shows a similar machine called a “Combination Vendor” from Ryede Specialty Works, c. 1910. – Shorpy


November 1933. “E.H. Elam making interviews at Stiner’s Store, Lead Mine Bend, Tenn. Selections for employment with the TVA are made on the basis of ability and efficiency.” The vast hydroelectric and flood control project overseen by the Tennessee Valley Authority was one of the New Deal programs enacted under the Roosevelt Administration. Photo by Lewis Hine.


Washington, D.C., circa 1920. “People’s Drug Store, 7th and M.” Your headquarters for Bed Bug Killer, Corn Paint (“for Hard and Soft”) and the ever-popular Rubber Goods. National Photo Company glass negative. – Shorpy


Soda Books – Shorpy


January 1939. “Vacant drugstore”. Mound Bayou, Mississippi. – Shorpy


New York circa 1910-1915. “N.Y. Drug Store, Pennsylvania Station.” 8×10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company.

K and 7th

1922 Druggist, K and 7th – Shorpy


CW Heister’s Drug Store Lima Ohio Vintage RPPC ~ Vapo Stove Co., Dr. SS Herrmann ~ History & Photos


Linders Drug Store, Dallas


Riker-Jatnes Drug Store California

Drug store fountain, Southern California, 1927

Drug store fountain, Southern California, 1927

Actor Dana Andrews Serving Sodas to Fans

Actor Dana Andrews Serving Sodas to Fans

Read More: Saloons and Establishments from Yesteryear

About Ferdinand Meyer V

Ferdinand Meyer V is a native of Baltimore, Maryland and has a BFA in Fine Art and Graphic Design from the Kansas City Art Institute and School of Design. Ferdinand is the founding Principal of FMG Design, a nationally recognized design consultation firm. Ferdinand is a passionate collector of American historical glass specializing in bitters bottles, color runs and related classic figural bottles. He is married to Elizabeth Jane Meyer and lives in Houston, Texas with their daughter and three wonderful grandchildren. The Meyers are also very involved in Quarter Horses, antiques and early United States postage stamps. Ferdinand is the past 6-year President of the Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors and is one of the founding members of the FOHBC Virtual Museum.
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