Hegeman & Co., New York


The namesake of the business, William Hegeman, was a native of New York City, born in 1816. His career story, as told in court records of “Hegeman & Co. against Johnston N. Hegeman,” begins with the drug business of Rushton & Aspinwall.

In 1827, one William L. Rushton established, in the city of New York, a business in the sale, by wholesale and retail, of drugs and medicines, with which was put up of medical prescriptions, and of special preparations known by names of his own creation or adoption. In 1832 he associated with him one Aspinwall, and in 1843 William Hegeman, who had originally been in Rushton’s employment, became a partner in the place of Aspinwall.

A publication called “The Old Merchants of New York” by Walter Barrett, published in 1863 picks up the story from there.

 After Rushton & Aspinwall dissolved, I think Mr. Aspinwall kept on the wholesale store in William Street, and Rushton the retail store on Broadway, under the firm of Rushton & Co. Mr Rushton took in a Mr. Clark who had formerly been a partner in the firm of Clark & Saxton, in Broadway. Shortly after, Rushton died.

In 1855, as a result of Rushton’s death the name of the business was changed to Hegeman, Clark & Co. The notice announcing the name change appeared in the January 25, 1855 edition of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

The notice mentioned three Broadway locations; 165, 273 and 511 Broadway.

Later, advertisements published in the fall of that year indicated a fourth location at 756 Broadway. Their wholesale depot was located at 165 Broadway while the other three were retail outlets.

Apparently manufacturing chemists as well, the most heavily advertised product under the Hegeman name was their “Celebrated Genuine Cod Liver Oil.” This advertisement that appeared in the December 3, 1856 edition of the Brooklyn Times Union mentioned nine years experience which would date the product back to the Rushton & Aspinwall days.

Beginning in 1859 Clark was dropped from the company name, now referring to it as Hegeman & Co. in both the directory listings and advertisements.

Around this time the company advertised a number of proprietary products under the Hegeman name. In addition to their cod liver oil, 1859  advertisements mentioned Hegeman & Co.’s Camphor Ice With Glycerine and Concentrated Benzine.

Sometime in the early 1860’s it appears that the company moved their main depot to 203 Broadway and would continue to list it along with three retail locations, also on Broadway, up through the mid-1870’s. Between 1861 and the early 1870’s they also listed a fifth location at the corner of 4th Avenue and 17th Street.

In 1867 William’s son, Johnston N Hegeman, joined the business in partnership with him and both were listed with the company up until William’s death in October, 1875. At that point, according to a January 12, 1878 story in the New York Times:

Mr. J. N. Hegeman, his son and only partner, continued the business, but, since his father’s death, has gradually disposed of the numerous branch stores once owned by the firm. The last one, at No. 603 Broadway was sold for $10,000 in November 1876.

The story went on to say that with Johnston, confined to his house in Orange New Jersey suffering with inflammatory rheumatism and under the influence of morphine treatments, the company went into receivership in January, 1878.

Subsequently court records indicated that some of the company’s stock along with it’s trademark, goodwill and as connected with it the business name, all preparations, recipes, formulas, prescriptions and recipe books, labels, plates, proprietary rights, and proprietary articles were sold and ultimately transferred to a newly formed corporation, also called Hegeman & Co., whose certificate of incorporation was filed on March 14, 1878. Associated with the new corporation was George B. Marcher who had been previously employed by William Hegeman, much of it supervising the compounding the Hegeman preparations.

At around the same time J. N. Hegeman, now apparently fully recovered, associated with J. W. Ferrier, another employee of the old firm and began business in a store a 756 Broadway, which had formerly been one of the branch stores of the old firm that had been sold previously and now reacquired.

In 1880 Hegeman & Co  was listed at the old firm’s 203 Broadway location and J. N. Hegeman & Co, Wholesale and Retail Druggists was listed at 756 Broadway. Both claimed to be successors to the original Hegeman Company which resulted in this note that accompanied J. N. Hegeman’s listing in the 1880 NYC Directory:

Mr. Hegeman has no connection with any other drug house in the City.

Both firms continued to operate independently up through the early 1900’s.

J. N. Hegeman & Co. incorporated in February, 1894. The notice of incorporation was published in the February 14, 1894 edition of the New York Tribune.

J. N. Hegeman & Co. filed a certificate of incorporation yesterday. The concern will do a general drug business with a capital of $50,000. Its directors are J. Niven Hegeman, Joseph Glenny, John W. ferrier, Lucius A. Wilson, Herbert S. Barnes and Acton C. Bassett.

Later that year, in October 1894, J. N. Hegeman passed away. However, the J. N. Hegeman business remained listed in the NYC Directories up through through 1906. At that point, the 1907 NYC Copartnership and Corporation Directory indicated that the J. N. Hegeman Co. had been absorbed by Hegeman & Co., Inc.

The corporation of Hegeman & Co. was listed through 1909 and in 1910 was merged with the William B Riker & Son Co. A 1910 issue of American Druggist summarized the merger:

At a meeting of the officials of the William B Riker & Son Company and Hegeman & Co on August 4, negotiations were completed merging the two concerns into a new company. The corporation is to be known as the Riker & Hegeman Company. No details as to when the combination is to become effective have been given out but October 1 is said to have been decided on… At the time Hegeman & Co was capitalized at $6 million and Riker & Son at $2.5 million. John H Flager, president of Hegeman will be president of the new organization… The result of the combination and probably what brought it about is the desire to abolish competition between stores in both chains. In several spots of the City, Riker and Hegeman have stores on opposite sides of the street. Establishments in such close proximity will be given immediate attention, according to plans, and expenses reduced by closing down one or more in a neighborhood… It’s quite likely the new corporation will expand it’s retail business to other cities with a view of ultimately opening a chain of sores across the country.

Just before the merger, Hegeman & Co. still had their main store at 203 Broadway, 19 branch stores (17 in NYC, 1 in Jersey City and 1 in Yonkers) and a warehouse at 66 W 132nd Street. Riker had 25 stores in the NYC vicinity and several in Boston.

In 1916, Riker-Hegeman merged with the United Drug Company resulting in a company with 152 retail drug stores.

The bottle I found is a small (approximately 4-5 oz) medicine with an applied finish. Embossed in small letters under Hegeman & Co are the words “a corporation.”

This indicates that it was manufactured between 1878 when the company incorporated and 1910 when it merged with Riker & Son. The applied lip tells me it probably skews more toward the earlier years.

Haas Pharmacy



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.

The bottle I found is a small (approximately 4 oz) medicine with a tooled finish. Its simply embossed Haas Pharmacy with no address. It was 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!).

W. H. Gardner, 176 State Street, Bridgeport, Conn.



W H Gardner is profiled in “Connecticut of Today: It’s Chief Business Centers” published in 1890. He’s included as a businessman in the Bridgeport section:

W H Gardner, Druggist No 176 State Street – One of the most successful and flourishing pharmacies in the City of Bridgeport is that of Mr. W H Gardner at 176 State Street. This gentleman is a native of this state and for many years was the occupant of a responsible position in the wholesale drug house of Hazard, Hazard & Co of New York. Having by a long course of arduous study and a practical training in the laboratory, fitted himself for the responsible profession in which he is engaged. In 1886 he established his present business and from the start secured a large and first class patronage. The store he occupies is centrally located, elegantly arranged and handsomely fitted up with artistic counters, shelving, plate glass, show windows and cases, marble soda fountain and is provided with all that can promote the comfort and convenience of his customers. The stock embraces a large and carefully selected assortment of pure fresh drugs and chemicals; proprietary remedies of well known and established reputation; toilet and fancy articles, perfumery and druggists’ sundries, physicians and surgeons’ supplies; extracts, acids and essences; roots, herbs and barks; tinctures, etc. Mr. Gardner makes a specialty of toilet and fancy articles, and French, English and American perfumes and powders and in these lines his assortment is unrivaled in Bridgeport for variety, quality and quantity. Particular attention is given to the compounding of physicians’ prescriptions and family recipes, and every care is taken to secure accuracy while the prices charged are invariably moderate. Skilled and experienced assistants are employed and prescriptions are filled at all hours of the day or night. Mr. Gardner possesses fine business ability and is popular with all classes of the community.

According to the Bridgeport directories, Gardner was in business from 1886 until 1912. He remained at 176 State Street until 1898 at which time he moved to 119 State Street. In 1900 he moved again, this time to 215 State Street, where was listed through 1912. Gardner’s wife Katherine was described as a widow in a 1918 newspaper story, so I assume he passed away sometime between 1912 and 1918.

I didn’t find any advertisements for the business, but Gardner was quoted in a series of 1892 -93 newspaper advertisements for a proprietary medicine called “Comfort Powder”

176 State Street no longer exists and today it’s former footprint is within a park called McLevy Green. 215 State Street still exists today. The year 1896 is imprinted on a large stone of the building so it looks like Gardner moved there within a few years of the building opening.

The bottle I found is small (maybe 3 oz) with a tooled finish. It has the 176 State Street address embossed on it. Embossing on the base indicates it was made by the Whitehall Tatum Company (W.T. Co). The fact that there’s an ampersand (between the T and Co) indicates it was made before that business incorporated in 1901. A web site article on Whitehall Tatum puts the specific embossing in the 1880 to 1895 time frame. Recognizing that the business started in 1886, the bottle probably dates between 1886 and 1895, but absolutely no later than 1898, when they moved to 119 State Street.

Charles S. Erb, Pharmacist, 121 Amsterdam Avenue, Cor 65th St., N.Y.



The November 15, 1897 Issue of Merck’s Report featured Erb as a “Leader in the Drug Trade” It states:

While working as a clerk in the drug store of G F Werner Mr. Erb took a full course at the College of Pharmacy, graduating from that institution in 1886. He speedily worked his way up to trusted manager of a pharmacy, and around 1890 concluded to embark in business for himself. In 1891 he opened the store at 121 Amsterdam Avenue, and by his originality and push he has succeeded in making his establishment one of the features of his neighborhood. He has already attained considerable local celebrity as a manufacturing pharmacist.

Erb was listed in the NYC directories as a druggist at 121 Amsterdam Avenue up through 1905. The 1905 ERA Druggist Directory listed the services he provided under the following headings: Drugs and Medicines, Drug Sundries, Tobacco or Cigars and Books or Stationery. He was also listed in that directory as a manufacturer of proprietary medicines.

In 1906 he moved the business to 108 Amsterdam Avenue. His move was documented in a 1906 Issue of “American Druggist and Pharmaceutical Record”

On July 1, 1906 Charles S Erb will move from his present location at Amsterdam Avenue and 65th Street to a new store at 108 Amsterdam Avenue between 64th and 65th Streets. The building now occupied by Mr. Erb is being torn down to make room for a public school.

The business remained listed in the ERA Druggist Directories at 108 Amsterdam Avenue up through 1913-14.

Erb passed away in February 1914. His obituary, in the March 1914 Issue of the “Pharmceutical Era,” stated in part that he was ex-president of the New York College of Pharmacy Alumni Association, a trustee of the College of Pharmacy, and at one time secretary of the New York State Board of Pharmacy.

Today, the Fiorello LaGuardia High School of Music occupies the west side of Amsterdam Avenue between 64th and 65th Streets. It’s located in a modern high-rise building that takes up the whole block. There’s no sign of the building that housed the Erb business.

The bottle I found is a small (approximately 3 oz) mouth blown medicine with a tooled finish. It has the 121 Amsterdam Avenue address so it’s manufacture date ranges between 1891 and 1906.

Cosmopolitan Pharmacy, Corner Rivington & Willett Streets, New York



The proprietor of the Cosmopolitan Pharmacy was Sigmund Muldberg. A physician who graduated from Belgium’s University of Ghent in 1889, he immigrated to the United States shortly thereafter.

The ERA Druggist Directory in 1905 and 1906 included the following listing under “Retail Druggists”

Sigmund Muldberg (Cosmopolitan Pharmacy), 79 Willett Street.

These are the only two listings I can find that provide a direct connection between Muldberg and the Cosmopolitan Pharmacy. However between 1896 and approximately 1908 Sigmund Muldberg was listed individually in the NYC general directories as a druggist and physician. Generally (but not always) the physician listings included an address of 234 Rivington Street and the druggist address was 79 Willett Street.

According to the 1905 ERA Directory the pharmacy provided services in “drugs and medicines” and “drug sundries.” It did not include other services typical of pharmacies of the time including tobacco products, liquor products or a soda fountain.

This all leads me to conclude that Muldberg probably ran both a doctor’s office and associated pharmacy/drug store out of the same building on the corner of Willett Street and Rivington Street (the location embossed on the bottle). If I’m right, the “Cosmopolitan Pharmacy” name may date back as early as 1896.

Around 1909 Muldberg relocated to 323-325 Second Avenue where he remained listed until at least 1922. In 1925 he was listed at 411 West End Avenue. After 1911 he singularly listed his occupation as “physician”, and no longer included “druggist.” in any listing that I could find.

Muldberg was not listed in the 1933 NYC directory and 1940 census records listed his wife, Annie, as a widow. This indicates that he passed away sometime between 1930 and 1940, probably prior to 1933.

There was a Cosmopolitan Pharmacy listed in the NYC directories between 1909 and 1915 with an address of 612 Tenth Avenue . The name of the proprietor was Reuben Hird. It’s possible that Muldberg sold his pharmacy business to Hird in 1909 but I can’t make a definite connection.

Rivington Street and Willett Street both no longer exist at this intersection. They area is now part of the Samuel Gompers apartment building complex.

The bottle I found is a small (approx. 4 ounce) mouth blown medicine with a tooled finish. It  was made by the Whitehall Tatum Company and it has that company name embossed on the base. The embossing includes an ampersand (between Tatum and Co) indicating it was made prior to 1901 when the business incorporated. This is further evidence that the “Cosmopolitan Pharmacy” name may date back to 1896 and dates the bottle to the period between 1896 and 1901.




Henry Brenwasser, Pharmacist, 226 Ninth Avenue, Cor. 24th St.



The first mention of Henry Brenwasser in the NYC Directories that I can find is 1909. He’s listed as a druggist with the 226 Ninth Avenue address. Around this time he went into business with Frank N Pond.

The business of Pond & Brenwasser (Frank N Pond & Henry Brenwasser) is listed in the Trow NYC Copartnership and Corporation Directories from 1908 to 1914 at 226 Ninth Avenue. The business is not listed in the 1906 Copartnership and Corporation Directory and the 1914 Directory states that Pond and Brenwasser was dissolved.

Later Brenwasser appears to have gotten out of the retail drug business. According to the February 3, 1913 issue of Industrial World and an issue of the Paint, Oil and Drug Review from around the same time, Brenwasser was an incorporator in a new corporation called Glycola Co, Inc. The company was listed as “chemists, dry salters, oil and color men. Capital $75,000. Incorporators: Jeheil H Patrick, 333 Ninth Avenue, Furman K Ruff MD, 343 W 23rd St and Henry Brenwasser, 226 Ninth Avenue. The 1915 – 1916 Directory of Directors in the City of New York list Brenwasser as the Secretary and Director of the Company and it’s still located at 226 Ninth Avenue. The company is not listed in the 1918-1919 Copartnership and Corporation Directory and appears to be out of business by then.

After Glycola, it looks like Brenwasser got back into the prescription drug business. In the 1921 and 1922 editions of the ERA Druggist Directory of the US, Canada, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Manila and the Hawaiian Islands Henry Brenwasser (No Pond) is listed at the Ninth Avenue address. He’s not listed in the 1916 edition.

It appears that Brenwasser was at the Ninth Avenue address from 1908 well into the 1920’s. Frank N Pond also maintained other businesses associated with the 226 Ninth Avenue address before (Pond & Bowes), during (Pond Pharmacal Co.) and after (Pond Prescription Pharmacy) the Pond & Brenwasser era of 1908 to 1912. It’s not clear whether Pond and Brenwasser remained associates or not but it appears they shared the building or at least the address until at least 1916. There appears to be no connection with the more famous Pond’s Extract Co.

Today 226 Ninth Avenue no longer exists. The location is now part of a large apartment complex.

The bottle I found is a small (3 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 the business incorporated in 1901. This fits with either the 1908 to 1912 period of Pond and Brenwasser or the post 1916 years, after Glycola, when he apparently went back to being a pharmacist. The fact that that Henry Brenwasser’s name is embossed on the bottle, not Pond and Brenwasser, has me leaning toward the later period.