Jones Pharmacy, Ninth Avenue, Cor. 53rd St., New York



John H Jones, drugs, was first listed in the NYC Directories at 977 Eighth Avenue around 1876/1877. They were not listed in the 1873/1874 Directory. Sometime between 1886 and 1894 they moved to 798 Ninth Avenue (at 53rd Street) where they remained through at least 1922. The 1905 ERA Directory indicated that he provided services in the following categories: drugs and medicine, drug sundries, tobacco or cigars and books or stationary.

The 1912 and 1919 NYC Copartnership and Corporation Directories and the 1922 Directory of Drug Manufacturers and Proprietors listed the J F Abbott Company (Judson F and James L Abbott) at this address as well so it’s possible Jones either partnered with them or sold out to them in 1912 and remained with them through at least 1922. 

The IRT Ninth Avenue Line, the first elevated line in the City, ran right by the Jones Pharmacy. It was called the cable because originally the cars were propelled by a series of one-mile long cable loops that ran between the rails that were driven by stationary engines placed in buildings adjacent to the line. An 1895 Issue of the American Druggist and Pharmaceutical Record claimed that Jones was one of the biggest sufferers by the cable. His store was right at the corner of 53rd Street where the cable road made a very sharp curve.

A number of accidents take place there and, as might be expected, the injured persons are at once carried into the drug store while an ambulance is being summoned or the exact state of the injured man’s condition is ascertained. During June (1895) there have been perhaps a half a dozen people carried into the store and temporarily treated. On each occasion, Mr. Jones suffered loss of goods from contemptible pilferers who must have gathered in the crowd and followed in, simply to steal whatever they could get their hands on.

Today 798 Ninth Avenue is a five-story walk-up with a commercial store at street level. It almost certainly dates back to the business.

The bottle I found is a small (approximately 4 oz) mouth blown medicine bottle with a tooled finish. Embossing on the base indicates it was made by Whitehall Tatum Company (W.T. Co). The fact that there’s no ampersand (between the T and Co) indicates it was made after that business incorporated in 1901.