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  • Writer's pictureLocal History Collection

Snake Oils & Cure-Alls

From ancient times to modern day, pharmacies have existed as centers for health, wellness, and socialization. Over time these shops have taken various forms and monikers from the antiquated “apothecary” to the colloquial “drugstore.”


The Roslyn area was well-populated with such establishments as reflected in the numerous advertisements and other records that are part of the Local History Collection.


Accessible from our Digital Exhibit portal, the Ads of the Past exhibit includes a gallery dedicated to late 19th and early 20th century pharmacy and pharmaceutical advertisements.


Many of these ads were clipped from local Roslyn newspapers by lifelong resident Stewart Donaldson, whose original scrapbooks formed the basis for our collection.


The language and artwork featured in these ads represent the fascinating history and culture surrounding early pharmacies, and promote remedies that have been dispelled by modern medicine, while others survive as homeopathic treatments.


Click here to check out this gallery and view other items from our Ads of the Past exhibit.


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