As with other stores, each neighborhood
had its own drug store. These stores were independently owned and
operated by a pharmacist that usually lived within one block of
the store. There were also larger drug stores owned by a large companies,
but these were usually in the downtown section or in heavy traffic
The neighborhood drug store did not display any merchandise in
the windows. In the windows were show globes. Show globes were large
glass globes filled with colored water. They were suspended from
the ceiling. Every so often the colored water was changed to a new
color. I guess it would have been considered unethical to use any
part of the window to promote merchandise.
The pharmacist in each store was often called "Doc."
He was not a doctor but did perform such minor functions as removing
splinters, taking foreign objects out of eyes, giving medical advise
and recommending and dispensing some medicines.
Filling prescriptions as written by a medical doctor meant mixing
the various ingredients in the proper amounts. Today it usually
means dispensing a prepackaged item. The prescription department
held hundreds of bottles of medicines.
I recall "working" in the prescription department of
my father's store when I was about 8yrs. old. I would mix salves,
package dried raspberries, and assorted pills, all under my fathers
My father was a generous man and extended credit to anyone with
a sad story and during the depression there were plenty of them.
A business can only run without making money for just so long. Eventually
my father's business went "belly up" like so many others
of that time.