Saturday, February 23, 2013

Pharmacy Compounding During The 1930s

There was once a time during mid-twentieth century America when the neighborhood pharmacy was considered THE place to hangout, and THE place where you could find the most beautiful and eligible young women. As a matter of fact, many young Hollywood starlets were initially "discovered" while hanging out in their neighborhood pharmacy.

This was a time in pharmacy before pharmaceutical manufacturing came to dominate the profession, a time before chain pharmacies, when most pharmacists owned their own stores, compounded their prescriptions from scratch, and could concoct their own special lotions and potions as they saw fit.

It was also a time before many of Federal laws now governing patient-safety were enacted, before the nation became aware of the frequency of pharmacy errors and their potential to cause serious harm, and way before pharmacists focused on error-prevention as much as we do today.

This period of time in America might have been good for pharmacists, but it wasn't a very good time for their patients. So, I couldn't help but wonder what is was that made the youngest and prettiest girls in the neighborhood continue to hangout at their local pharmacy, even after discovering that their pharmacist might be an error-prone stooge?

That was, until I found this video from that period that explains it all.


  1. I think I now understand why all of the chains have cosmetics departments.

  2. The modern age of pharmacy compounding began in the 19th century with the isolation of various compounds from coal tar to produce synthetic dyes. From this is wholly natural product came to the earliest antibacterial sulfa drugs, phenolic compounds made famous by Joseph Lister, and plastics.