A Brief Analysis: the Historic Drug Store

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A Brief Analysis: The Historic Drug Store
William Murphy
Lakewood College

This paper explores the article, “The Historic Drugstore,” published by the William A. Soderland, Sr. Pharmacy Museum, sponsored by Soderlund Village Drug that examines the evolution of the American drug store with particular emphasis on the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The pharmacy museum is located at Soderlund Village Drug in downtown St. Peter, Minnesota and provides a unique perspective about the history of the drug store.

A Brief Analysis: The Historic Drug Store
The drug store, as we know it today, is quite uniquely an American concept. According to Soderlund Village Drug (2004), beyond offering traditional pharmaceutical goods, drug stores were a driving force for community action, social gastronomies and related human interactions. Explained in great detail by Joseph Fink (2012), during the early 1800's a group of concerned Philadelphia based apothecaries met to discuss the declining trade environment and ways to enhance scientific standards to protect public safety and welfare, as well as to provide improved competency levels of training for apprentices and students within the industry. The result of this meeting was the establishment of the first college to train pharmacists in the United States known as the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, and a prescient foretelling of changes to come.
There are two main contenders in the first drugstore in America game. The first claim is attributed to a drug store located in Fredericksburg, Virginia, a rural establishment that Martha Washington was supposed to have frequented as a patient around the time of the Revolutionary War. This drug store did not maintain a licensed Pharmacist, which lends closer scrutiny to a second claim. During 1804, the State of Louisiana enacted a law that mandated licensing requirements for…...

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