The business started around the mid-1870’s and was still active well into the 1950’s.
Between 1876 and 1894 Frederick Haas appeared in the NYC Directories listed as drugs at 266 Fourth Avenue (at 21st Street). In 1896 the Haas Pharmacy name was included in the directories for the first time and two locations were given, 266 Fourth Avenue and 439 Fifth Avenue (at 39th Street).
According to the January 13, 1905 edition of the New York Times, the Haas Pharmacy of New York incorporated at that time. The directors were Frank Rudd, J.N. Blair and L.F. Staar of New York. Frederick Haas was not mentioned so apparently he had left the business by this time.
Around the same time, the 1905 ERA Directory indicated that the Fifth Avenue store provided services in the following categories: drugs and medicine, drug sundries, books or stationary and that the store had a soda fountain. The Fourth Avenue store provided drugs and medicine, drug sundries, tobacco or cigars and books or stationary.
According to several annual issues (between 1905 and 1922) of the ERA Druggist Directory of the US, Canada, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Manila and the Hawaiian Islands:
- The 439 5th Avenue location moved to 7 W 38th Street around 1907.
- The 266 Fourth Avenue location moved to 38 E 22nd Street around 1913. Both the Fourth Avenue and E 22nd Street addresses were listed in 1913.
- The 7 W 38th Street location moved to 28 W 38th Street around 1913.
Haas Pharmacy continued to be listed at various locations well into the 1950’s. The 38 E 22nd Street location was still listed in the 1933 Manhattan Telephone Book along with 35 E 49th Street. Between 1940 and 1945 I found them at 376 Park Avenue and in 1957 they’re located at 812 Madison Avenue.
There’s actually a Haas & Thomas Pharmacy today on E 65th Street in Manhattan but I’m not sure if there’s a connection.
In addition to being a retail druggist Haas apparently manufactured drugs for distribution as well. Advertisements for “Neurotone-Haas, a glycerophosphate of lime and soda, appeared in several of the drug trade journals between 1904 and 1907.
In and around 1914, the Court of Special Sessions dismissed a case against Frederick Haas, who was charged with violation of the NYS labor law for failure to file a certificate of the working hours of his clerks with the Commission of Labor. This decision resulted in the Water Bill, which provided the state pharmacy law and not the NYS Labor Law, has jurisdiction over the practice of pharmacy in NYS and can therefore prescribe the hours of employment for drug clerks. The state pharmacy law at the time limited the hours of employment by drug clerks to not more than seventy hours in a week or 132 hours in any two weeks. (Yikes!) The labor law at the time required one day of rest in every seven for all employees of mercantile establishments and factories.
The only building that appears to date back to the business is located at the 28 W 38th Street address. It’s a turn of the century building with a commercial store at street level. The former 7 W 38th Street location is now within the footprint of Lord and Taylor’s flagship store on Fifth Avenue that opened in 1914. Fourth Avenue is now Park Avenue South.
I’ve found two mouth blown Haas Pharmacy medicine bottles, both with rectangular cross sections. One holds approximately 4 oz. and the other is smaller, holding no more than an ounce. Both have a tooled finish and were probably made in the late 1800′ s or early 1900’s and associated with one of their early locations, either Fourth Avenue or Fifth Avenue ( filled and sold by a guy working 70 hours a week!).