C.T. Hurlburt & Co.

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C T Hurlburt stands for Charles T Hurlburt. The company, established in 1852 was primarily engaged in the preparation of homoeopathic remedies. The company was also known as the American Homoeopathic Pharmacy.

Charles Hurlburt was the sole proprietor until 1893 when he formed a partnership with his son. The partnership was announced in the Society and News section of the 1893 issue of the “North American Journal of Homoeopathy”as follows:

We notice that the old established house of C T Hurlburt, the American Homoeopathic Pharmacy, which has been under his sole management since 1852 has been changed to a partnership under the firm name of C T Hurlburt & Co. The firm consists of Mr C T Hurlburt and his son, Mr Chas F Hurlburt, who has a long experience in homoeopathic pharmacy under his father’s direction and who is now associated with him as a partner.

The business was active until approximately 1915 occupying several locations over it’s life span. The original location was 437 Broome Street and later, in 1868, the business moved to 898 Broadway between 18th and 19th Street. Advertisements during this period mentioned medicines, vials, cases, books and toilet and fancy goods.

During the late 1870’s they moved to East 19th Street. Here they were first listed at 15 East 19th Street in 1880/81 and by 1886 were listed at 3 East 19th Street where they remained until 1901. Between the mid 1880’s and early 1900’s the business also maintained a 125th Street location. 52, 59,61 and 108 W 125th Street were all listed during this period.

An article in an 1896 issue of the Phamaceutical Era described the business and it’s products during this period:

This firm also known as the American Homoeopathic Pharmacy is one of the oldest houses engaged in preparing alcoholic tinctures of green plants and other supplies used by the Homoeopathic School of Medicine. They are the proprietors of a number of special preparations well known to the general drug trade as “Hurlburts” which have secured a large sale through their own merits, curative qualities and the established reputation and long experience of the manufacturers. These medicines are the result of scientific skill and medical knowledge. One of the oldest and most celebrated is their remedy for Croup coughs and Bronchial troubles, called Hurlburt’s Trachial Drops, prepared both in syrup and tablets – a remedy unqualified for the household in providing safety against that dread of mothers – the croup. Hurlburt’s Rubini Camphor Pills for Colds, Grippe and Dirreha were originated by this firm as the most convenient and desirable way of taking an efficient yet pleasant dose of camphor. They have many imitators, but to secure the genuine buyers should see that the label bears the trademark of the firm. Circulars and prices of these and other valuable remedies can be obtained by addressing Messrs Hurlburt and Co. who offer the trade very advantageous terms.

An advertisement printed in the October 2, 1892 issue of the New York Sun referenced the Tracheal Drops and Rubini Camphor Pills as well as several other products.

 

In 1902 the business was listed at 575 Madison Avenue and by 1906 they were at 7 Barclay, where they stayed until 1911.

In 1912 they were first listed as a NY Corporation with Charles F Hurlburt as President, and an address of 45 Lafayette. They were listed again in1913/14 but in 1915 Hurlburt’s Pharmacal Co was listed with Theo Stemmler as President. I’m not sure whether this is a continuation of the original company or not.

The business apparently sold their products outside of the New York area as well. “Midland Druggist” a publication located in Columbus, Ohio, announced in their December 15, 1899 issue:

C T Hurlburt & Co of New York City issued a new price list reducing the trade prices of their goods to the rates which prevailed before the war tax was imposed (I assume the was a tax associated with the Spanish American War that occurred in 1898).

The 7 Barclay Street address is located in the current footprint of the Woolworth Building. The site for the building was acquired in 1911 and the building was built and opened by 1913. Hurlburt’s move to Lafayette Street in 1911 was certainly necessitated by the acquisition process for the new skyscraper.

The bottle I found is a small (1-2 ounce), square medicine bottle with a tooled finish (maybe Hurlburt’s Trachial Drops??). It’s embossed: C T Hurlburt & Co., so it was made after the partnership with Charles was formed in 1893. The maker’s mark TCW & Co is embossed on the base of the bottle indicating it was made by the T C Wheaton Glass Co. According to various Internet web sites, this specific mark was used between 1888 and 1901. This dates the bottle between 1893 and 1901 and ties it to the E 19th Street location.

Fred’K S. Steinmann, Apothecary, 92nd St. & Lexington Ave., New York

 

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NYC Directories and the ERA Druggist Directories of the US, Canada, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Manila and the Hawaiian Islands indicate that Steinmann operated a pharmacy at 1402 Lexington Avenue (at 92nd Street) from 1907 to approximately 1917 -1920. He also operated a pharmacy in Bronxville NY from 1913 to 1925.

Frederick Steinmann’s story is best told in a letter he wrote to his friends and customers announcing that he was selling his pharmacy business. The letter was printed in the May 8, 1925 issue of the Bronxville Press. I’ve summarized parts of it below.

  • Frederick Steinmann was a graduate of the 1899 class of the New York College of Pharmacy and was manager of drug stores until 1907 when he entered business for himself at 92nd Street and Lexington Avenue. Several years later he established a branch at 152nd Street and Convent Avenue, New York City, and in 1913 he opened a Bronxville branch in the Colonial Building.
  • He talked about how early on the Bronxville store was a losing proposition and how the opening of the rail line and station and movie theatre improved things. During this period, he sold the NY stores (A 1917 directory in the Druggist Circular still lists both the Lexington Avenue and Bronxville locations) and moved from Long Island to Bronxville to devote his energies to building the Bronxville business.
  • Ultimately, on May 1, 1925, he sold out to I Bernitz, a successful pharmacist of New York City who had sold his NYC store several weeks prior. Steinmann announced he was leaving pharmacy and entering the real estate brokerage field.
  • In a reflective piece of the letter he talked about serving the community during the influenza period and during the strain of the weeks of constant call to duty when compounding of prescriptions and medical supplies were in most urgent demand. Digalen, thermometers and caffeine benzoate were unobtainable in New York or in other places but we were fortunate enough to have brought our surplus stock to this store. It seemed a matter of fate to have helped save many lives. Then again, the pleasant duties of serving the healthy as well as the sick recompensed one for all the effort and strife and cares of a business.

The Fred’k S Steinmann name carried on into the 1990’s. In October 1968 the Fred’k S Steinmann Apothecary ltd of Ossining New York filed for incorporation in New York State and on July 1, 1997 the company was dissolved.

Today, 1402 Lexington Avenue is a five-story walk-up with a street level commercial store. According to apartments.com it was built in 1920 (it looks older to me) so it doesn’t date back to the business.

The bottle I found is a small (4 oz) medicine with a tooled finish that has the Amsterdam Avenue and 92nd Street address embossed on it. 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. A web site article on Whitehall Tatum puts the specific embossing in the 1901 to 1924 time frame. This confirms that the bottle fits within the 1907 to late teen’s time period that the business was at the Lexington Avenue address.

J. S. Seabury

 

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The J stands for John S Seabury. Born in 1811, he was a druggist and patent medicine proprietor from the 1830’s to at least 1882. He died in 1888. His obituary, printed in the November 1, 1888 issue of the ‘Pharmaceutical Record” states” John S Seabury, a well known druggist of Jamaica, New York and also in former years of this City, (NY) died at his home a few days ago. He began in business at New Rochelle, was later at Jamaica, and at one time was a member of the firm of Pinchot, Bruen & Seabury of this City (located on Fulton Street). He had an excellent reputation as a druggist and a citizen. He was 77 years of age.

It’s not clear when Seabury moved from New Rochelle to Jamaica, but J. S. Seabury & Co. of Jamaica was listed as an authorized agent for “Brandreth’s Pills” in the August 20, 1839 issue of the Long Island Star so he was doing business in Jamaica by then.

Around this time he was involved with at least two different proprietary products. One was for “Vestamental Soap” advertised in a July 1840 issue of the Long Island Farmer. It stated:

For removing grease spots, paint, etc. from woolen cloths. This is a new article lately invented by Mr. John S Seabury, Druggist, New Rochelle. The proprietor contents himself with merely stating in the label upon each bottle, the purpose of which it is intended, and the method of application; leaving those who choose to give it a trial to judge of its merits. We can say that we have never seen anything half so well adapted to removing spots from woolen garments as the Vestamental Soap. Price 25 cents a bottle. For sale at the New Drug and Book Store, by C. S. Watrous.

The other was called Hawkshurst’s Opodeldoc or Rheumatic Embrocation. The 1841 advertisement in the Long Island Farmer stated:

an effectual and speedy remedy for rheumatism, cramps, sprains, bruises, wounds, stiff joints, sore throat, pains in the chest, side back, etc. prepared for many years by the late John Hawkshurst of Newtown Long Island. The subscriber having procured the original recipe for preparing this embrocation, the genuine article will in future bear his written signature on the directions accompanying each bottle…Certificates of the most respectable character to the efficiency of the above medicine might be procured but the subscriber deems it unnecessary, as he authorizes every vendor of the article to refund the money for any part of a bottle of the embrocation which may be returned, should it not prove as represented.

By 1849 he owned a drug store in Jamaica called “Seabury’s Hall of Pharmacy”. According to an advertisement in the L I Farmer in the early 1850’s it was advertised as a general store as much as a pharmacy, selling an assortment of products such as paints, books, stationary, window glass and lamps in addition to drugs and medicines.

 

Over the years, this store was turned over to an employee named George Peck, first operating under a partnership of Seabury and Peck. Ultimately around 1865 Peck became sole proprietor and changed the name to the “Hall of Pharmacy”

Seabury apparently continued in business on Long Island at other Jamaica locations until at least 1882. He was listed in Curtain’s Long Island Directory of 1868-1869 under patent medicines in Jamaica on Fulton St near Washington Ave and there’s an advertisement for Seabury’s Cough Balsam in an 1871 issue of the Long Island Farmer. The advertisement names Seabury as the sole proprietor in Jamaica.

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Finally, in 1882, Seabury is looking to retire. An 1882 issue of the “Druggist Circular and Chemical Gazette” carried the following item headlined as a Rare Business Opportunity:

Desirous of retiring from active business, I offer for sale a first class drug store in the Village of Jamaica L I, also a well established fire insurance agency representing some of the best companies in the State. I would also sell one or all of my popular proprietary medicines. The above would be sold together or separately as desired. Address for particulars J S Seabury, Jamaica L I.

It’s not clear if and when he sold out.

The bottle I found is a small (approximately 2 oz) medicine with an applied finish and only the Seabury name embossed on it. It probably contained a proprietary medicine (maybe cough balsam?) from the Fulton St location.

H. C. Schmidt, Apothecary, S. W. Cor. 91st St. & Park Ave., New York

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The H stands for Herman C. Schmidt. A druggist of German ancestry, he’s listed in the March 1906 “Deutsch-Amerikanische Apotheker Zeitung”.

Schmidt’s business started in 1887.  He’s not listed in the 1886 NYC Directory but after that he’s listed in every directory I could find through 1925 at 1134 Park Avenue. The 1905 ERA Directory indicated that he provided services in the following categories: drugs and medicine, drug sundries, tobacco or cigars, books or stationary and that the business had a soda fountain.

Today, the 1134 Park Avenue address is part of a large 15 story pre-war apartment building at 1130 Park Avenue. According to street easy.com it was built in 1927 so its construction would have signaled the end of the Schmidt business at this location.

It seems that around this time the business moved diagonally across the 91st Street intersection to 1143 Park Avenue, and by 1930 ownership of the pharmacy had been turned over to David G Fine. Fine listed his occupation in the 1930 census records as the proprietor of a drug store and a match book cover, recently advertised on e-bay named Fine as the proprietor of the H.C. Schmidt Pharmacy.

  

Fine maintained the business for 30+ years. Schmidt’s Pharmacy was still listed at 1143 Park Avenue in the 1960 Manhattan telephone book. Fine was also listed in 1960 at that address  with the “classification “Pharmacy.”

The current building at 1143 Park Avenue was built in 1915 according to streeteasy.com. It’s the red building in the photo below, second from the corner.

      

The drug store was certainly at street level.

The bottle I found is a small (approximately 4 oz) medicine with a tooled finish that fits within the time that the business was located at 1134 Park Avenue (S.E. corner of 91st). The bottom of the bottle is embossed “Pat June 17, 88,”further indication that the business started around that time.

There was also a druggist on Third Avenue during this time period named Herman Schmidt. It’s possible that he used the middle initial C to differentiate his business from the one on Third Avenue.

 

 

Roller’s Pharmacy, Amsterdam Ave. & 88th St.

 

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Emil Roller, drugs, was first listed in the 1889 NYC Directory at 1441 First Avenue.  Over the next ten years, between 1890 and 1899, he both lived and worked as a druggist on First Avenue between East 75th and East 77th Streets in Manhattan. Whether or not he operated his own business during this period is not clear.

Around 1900 he opened a drug store on the west side of Manhattan. Between 1900 and 1908,  he was listed with the occupation “drugs”at 864 Ninth Avenue. The 1905 ERA Directory indicated that his drug store provided services in the following categories: drugs and medicine, drug sundries, tobacco or cigars, books or stationary and that the business had a soda fountain.

In 1908 Roller sold the Ninth Avenue business and purchased another one on Amsterdam Avenue. On October 14, 1908, the “Pharmaceutical Era” reported that:

Francis Zitz, Amsterdam Avenue and 86th Street has been succeeded by Emil Roller. Mr. Roller recently sold his store at 56th Street and Ninth Avenue to S Beck.

Between 1908 and 1914 the business was listed as “Roller’s Prescription Pharmacy” at 535 Amsterdam Avenue at 86th Street. Then in 1915 they moved to 574 Amsterdam Avenue on the southwest corner of West 88th Street  

The business incorporated in 1918. A notice in the September 27 issue of the New York Times listed them as a new corporation:

Emil Roller Pharmacy, Manhattan, $6,000; E.Roller, J. Hundy, Martha Hundy, 220 West 88th Street.

The Roller Pharmacy was listed at this location through at least 1925.

It’s not clear when the business ended. By 1933 Roller is still listed with the occupation of “drugs” but I can’t find a listing for the pharmacy. In 1948 Emil Roller is no longer listed as well.

Roller developed a few products that he sold under his own name. A series of advertisements in the April and May, 1910 issues of the New York Age touted “Emil Rollers Unrivaled Skin Balm”

Apparently he sold stomach and liver pills under his name as well. A 1911 issue of the American Druggist and Pharmaceutical Record printed the following lyric that they said Roller included in packages to his customers:

Hark, our Stomach, Liver Pills                                                                                      Highly Recommended!                                                                                                          Will relieve all minor ills                                                                                                           In proper time attended

They restore your appetite,                                                                                          Liberate bad gases,                                                                                                                  And make life a real delight,                                                                                                  A joy in all its phases

You won’t have to hang around                                                                              Without spunk, ambitions;                                                                                            You’ll feel active, safe and sound,                                                                                  Alert in all conditions

Nausea, Headaches, Dizziness                                                                                    Disappears like wonder;                                                                                              Billousness and pains, distress                                                                                          Will also have to wander

And all troubles, and all ills,                                                                                         Caused by indigestion,                                                                                                           You can right by Roller’s Pills                                                                                        Quite surely without question

They are to our best belief                                                                                                    Just the medication                                                                                                             When you look for help, relief                                                                                              In Chronic Constipation

Therefore give them a fair trial                                                                                                 Without hesitation;                                                                                                                Buy of Roller’s Pills a vial                                                                                                   And you’ll obtain salvation

Roller, in addition to having a good sense of humor, was apparently a pretty smart guy. A chemist, in 1914 he was part of a team that studied the treatment of malignant growths with Colloidal Glyco-Sulpher-Seleno Preparations. He was also working on a new urinary test for syphilis that “threatens to superseed the Wasserman”. (This probably didn’t happen because the Wasserman test was still quite popular in the 1930’s and 1940’s).

He was also heavily involved with the German Apothecaries Society and at one time was Chairman of the Scientific Committee.

The bottle I found is a small (approximayely 4 oz) medicine with a tooled finish. It has the Amsterdam Avenue and 88th Street address embossed on it so it dates to no earlier than 1915. 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. A web site article on Whitehall Tatum puts the specific embossing in the 1901 to 1924 time frame. So it looks like the bottle was made between 1915 and 1924. Recognizing that the bottle is mouth blown I’d say it’s manufacture is within a year or two of 1915.

R. W. Robinson & Son, New York

 

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R W stands for Russel W Robinson. According to an article in the January to June 1907 records of the “American Druggist and Pharmaceutical Record, Robinson entered the drug business in the late 1840’s and formed the firm of R W Robinson & Son in 1870. He died in 1883.

The NYC directories support and add to this information.

  • Russel W Robinson was first listed in the 1847/1848 City Directory (the earliest one I could find) at 214 Fulton Street with the occupation of “drugs.”
  • Robinson moved to 182 – 186 Greenwich Street in and around 1857/1858.
  • The firm of R W Robinson and Son first appeared in the 1870/1871 Directory at the Greenwich Street address. Russel W Robinson continued to be listed individually at that address as well. The business was also listed in the 1877 Rands NYC Business Directory under “wholesale drugs”
  • Russel W Robinson was still listed individually in the 1883 directory but was not listed in 1886 (the next directory I have access to). The business continued to be listed at Greenwich Street.
  • In the 1897 and 1898 Trow Business Directories for Manhattan and the Bronx, the company remained listed at the Greenwich Street address and an address at 228 Fulton Street was added.

A notice in the November 28, 1903 edition of the New York Times announced that the business had incorporated:

R. W. Robinson & Son, New York, to deal in drugs; capital $80,000. Directors – F.M. Robinson, W.R. Robinson, D.W. Kent, New York.

After incorporation, the company name became R. W. Robinson & Son Company.

In 1906 there appears to have been a split, when several directors and long time employees of Robinson resigned and formed a new company called the C. S. Littell Company. The May 1906 issue of the “Pharmaceutical Era”reported the formation of the new company under the headline “Well Known Drug Men in New Wholesale House”

It was announced by Charles S. Littell, George Thompson and Theodore W. Day that they have resigned as directors of the corporation of R. W. Robinson & Son, Co., severing their connection with that concern, and have formed a co-partnership under the name of C. S. Littell & Co. They will do a wholesale drug business at 228 Fulton Street. The new firm has leased the Fulton Street section of the old building, leaving the Greenwich Street side, which forms an “L” to 186 Greenwich, to the Robinson firm. which will continue in business. The two buildings are, in fact, separate and distinct, being connected by a passageway.

Charles S. Littell, who is prominent in drug trade circles as chairman of the Drug Trade Section of the New York Board of Trade and Transportation, started with the Robinson firm thirty-five years ago as a boy and for twenty years was a partner in the old firm of R. W. Robinson & Son. During the past two years he has been vice-president of the present incorporated company. Mr. Thompson and Mr. Day have both been connected with the business for over twenty years.

It was first the intention of the Robinson Co. gradually to drop their wholesale branch altogether and to confine themselves to their cash jobbing business, which they carry on in their Greenwich Street building, and to the pushing of their laboratory specialties. F. M. Robinson said to an Era representative this week, however, that he had changed his mind about the matter. So much new business has been coming in, he said, that there will be enough to go around between the new and the old concerns without either conflicting with the other. Hence the firm will continue the wholesale department…

There must have been more to the situation than reported in the story because a little over one year later, R. W. Robinson & Son was bankrupt. A bankruptcy notice, that listed assets of $24,184 and liabilities of $156,569 was printed in the October 31, 1907 edition of the N Y Times. A day later, a bankruptcy sale was announced in the paper. The notice provided a description of the business at that time of the sale. It included: a complete manufacturing, wholesale and retail business together with a laboratory. Their property included drugs, chemicals, proprietory medicines, formulas, trade names, office fixtures, typewriters, etc.

C. S. Littell was still listed at 228 Fulton Street in the 1919 Copartnership and Corporation Directory. At some point in the early 1920’s they moved to 330 Spring Street and I don’t see them listed in the 1930’s.

Each year the Robinson Company published an almanac which they referred to as “An ephemeris of the motions of the sun and moon, the true places and aspects of the planets, rising and setting of the sun and the rising, setting and southing of the moon.” The annual almanac advertised the wide variety of proprietary remedies available from R W Robinson and Sons. They were also listed as a dealer for several proprietary medicines in newspaper advertisements over the years. The earliest one I could find is from 1870 for “Hembold’s Buchu.”

Other proprietary medicines they were associated with in advertisements include “Dr. Clark Johnson’s Indian Blood Syrup,” the “Old Squaw’s Cure” and  “Dr. M Caldwell’s Dyspepsia Remedy.” An 1873 advertisement for Dr. Caldwell’s from the Brooklyn Daily Eagle is included below.

The 182 -186 Greenwich Street and 228 Fulton Street addresses no longer exist and the location is currently within the footprint of the World Trade Center site.

The bottle I found is a small medicine (approximately 4 oz) with a tooled finish. It’s embossed R W Robinson & Son and fits with the 1870 to 1907 time frame of the company (probably late 1800’s). There’s no address embossed on the bottle.

Muller’s Leading Drug Store, Merrick Road, Valley Stream, N.Y.

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Census records indicate that Frederick W. Muller was born in Germany in 1874 and immigrated to the United States as a young boy around 1880. He listed his occupation as druggist in both the 1900 and 1910 census records.

According to a December 21, 1916 internet post by the Valley Stream Historical Society:

In December 1895, Mueller (later changed to Muller) assumed the management of a store owned by George A. Koch, a Valley Stream druggist. In 1897, Mueller bought Koch’s business, and in May 1900, he built his first store on West Merrick Road.

The Historical Society’s post identified the location of his first store as 32 West Merrick Road (between Rockaway and South Carona Avenues).

Frederick W.  Muller was listed in the ERA Druggist Directory of the US, Canada, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Manila and the Hawaiian Islands in years 1905 through 1921. He’s not listed in the 1922 Directory.  The 1905 ERA Directory indicated that he provided services in the following categories: drugs and medicine, drug sundries, tobacco or cigars, books or stationary and that the business had a soda fountain.

In Bill Florio’s Images of America, Valley Stream, there’s a photograph of Muller’s store in 1912 with the following caption:

At some point Muller moved his drug store to the northwest corner of Rockaway Avenue and West Jamaica Avenue. Doc Muller used the top floor of the building as a movie house, Valley Stream’s first movie theatre.

A December 10, 1921 item published in the “Drug Trade Weekly” under “Business Record News” stated that at that time:

Muller’s Drug Store has been purchased by Max Silver.

After selling the drug store, Muller focused his attention on banking and real estate. His wife Ida’s obituary named him as the founder and president of the Valley Stream National Bank and Trust Company. This notice, confirming his status with the bank, appeared in the January 9, 1924 issue of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

Several publications issued around July, 1898, including the “Brooklyn Eagle” and the “Pharmaceutical Era” ran versions of the following story:

Frederick Muller, a druggist and prominent citizen of Valley Stream L I while going home from his store late one night a short time ago, was sandbagged by an unknown footpad. After falling, the druggist still had sufficient presence of mind to pull a pistol from his pocket and fire three shots at the man who attacked him, who thereupon ran away.

The building on the northwest corner of Rockaway Avenue and West Jamaica Avenue still exists today. It’s address is 196 Rockaway Avenue and it houses a liquor store at ground level where the drug store once was. The upstairs movie theatre appears to be an apartment now.

The bottle I found is a small (approximately 5 oz) medicine with a tooled finish and the Merrick Road location embossed on it. 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 dates the bottle between 1901 and no later than 1912 when we know Muller’s at the Rockaway Avenue location.

Bernard Monderer, Druggist, Audobon Ave., Cor 179th St.

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Bernard Monderer graduated from the Brooklyn College of Pharmacy on May 11,1916, successfully passed the examination of the NYS Board of Pharmacy held on June 28th and 29th 1916 and opened his own business sometime between then and 1920. Note that he’s not listed in the 1916 ERA Druggist Directory of the US, Canada, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Manila and the Hawaiian Islands but is listed in the 1921 and 1922 Directories at 278 Audobon Avenue (at 179th Street).

He included his business card, showing the same address, in the 1937graduation program of the Talmudical Acadamy of Yeshiva College so the business continued into the late 1930’s and probably further. It could have lasted into the early 1960’s when construction of the Trans Manhattan Expressway would most likely have forced him to relocate or possibly put him out of business.

The bottle I found is a small (4 oz) medicine with a tooled finish. Being mouth blown, it must be from the first few years of the business.

In response to this post, I was contacted by the grandson of Bernard Monderer, who confirmed that Bernard Monderer’s drug store occupied the first floor of 278 Audubon Avenue up until the time that the building was razed in order to make way for the George Washington Bridge expansion that included the Trans ManhattanExpressway.

He added that Bernard lived right across the street from the store in 529 West 179th Street. He continued to live there, working as a pharmacist for hire at other stores up until his death in 1968 or 1969.

 

P. B. Knapp, Druggist, 362 Hudson Street, New York

 

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The P stands for Peter B. Knapp whose business dated back to 1839. Knapp ran a medicine warehouse at 362 Hudson Street where he sold proprietary medicines, both wholesale and retail. The business is listed in the 1847 NYC Directory at that address and remained there through at least 1932. It was listed at (or more probably expanded to include) 373 Hudson Street and later 388 Hudson Street from 1933 to 1949 after which there’s no record that I can find.

Relatively early on in their history, the business manufactured and marketed patent medicines, including Knapp’s Indian Strengthening Plaster and Knapp’s Extract of Roots. An advertisement in the April 21, 1845 issue of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle touts:

Knapp’s Celebrated Indian Strengthening Plaster. –  These plasters prepared for pains and weakness in the back, breast, side or limbs, rheumatism, weakness and pain in the chest or loins, across the kidneys, or between the shoulders, liver complaints, diseases of the lungs, lumbago, bruises, sprains and other local injuries of a like nature. Knapp’s Indian Strengthening Plaster will prove, it is confidently believed, the most efficacious outward application that medical science has ever placed within the reach of suffering humanity.

A July 1876 advertisement for Knapp’s Extract of Roots stated:

One of the healthiest and pleasantest beverages known is made from this extract, the reputation of which has been well established for over 30 years…

In 1877 the business was also listed as a New York agent for Dr Underhill’s Pure Wines.

Peter Knapp was involved in the business through 1893, when as the Senior Partner an issue of Chemist & Druggist mentioned that he was one of the oldest druggists in New York.

Sometime in the late 1890’s, Peter passed away but the business apparently remained in the family. Gilbert Knapp was listed as the firm’s active partner in 1903. Around this time they published a 16-page booklet entitled “A Pig and a Poke and Other Stories”in commemoration of the fact that their prescription series had reached the half million mark. An excerpt follows:

One hundred dollars would not do so much now, but in the year 1839 Peter B Knapp established a drug store with it. He had served a long apprenticeship at Van Kleeck’s on lower Sixth Avenue, and wanted to own a store of his own. He bought his stock and it was delivered to him, all in one load.

People believed in home-brewed herb remedies in those days and knew how to prepare them. The little herbarium thrived. Cherished household recepies were brought there to be compounded. The forefathers of the present generation had there infantile colics soothed with catnip that could nowhere else be found of such full fresh flavor as at Knapp’s. It wasn’t so big a place then as it is now, and it wasn’t on the corner. As the business grew, the store deepened and the corner was finally taken in. The firm of P. B. Knapp & Sons now occupies the greater part of two buildings and an annex besides.

The lines of development of late years in Messrs Knapp & Sons’ business have been in the development of a prescription department which is unique and in some respects unequalled in the City. This department, in which confidence is everything now constitutes the main part of their business.”

In 1920, the Knapp family is apparently no longer involved with the business. The Directory for that year names August Hardinger as the only principal.

The bottle I found is a small square mouth blown pharmacy bottle with a tooled finish. It has the 362 Hudson Street address on it and most likely dates back to their prescription department of the early 1900’s.

 

 

Haas Pharmacy

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haas-long

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.

haas-ad

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!).