May Health Peace and Contentment be Yours


Early Druggists

"It is easy to get a thousand prescriptions but hard to get one single remedy." (Chinese Proverb)

In July 1890 druggist Grant Jessup established his business on Wellington Avenue.  Amongst his stock of patent medicines were the Great South Kidney Cure, used to treat kidney and bladder diseases, and Agnew's Cure for the Heart. He also carried a stock of "the choicest wines and liquors, for medicinal and sacramental purposes" (Chilliwack Progress, August 4, 1892, page 4) He relocated to Vancouver Island in 1894 after fire destroyed his business.

In 1894 Charles Nelson opened a drug store in Chilliwack. Nelson developed new markets by publishing a seed catalogue and providing area farmers and fruit growers with sprays, washes and insecticides.

In 1902 Harry J. Barber and Dr. J.C. Henderson purchased the business that in 1906 was solely owned by Barber. The firm produced a number of its own remedies including Barber brand cough syrup, dental cream, corn cure, and mosquito lotion. As well, several nationally advertised cures and remedies were sold through the business, which was not uncommon amongst other Chilliwack pharmacists such as Charles Cowen’s “Palace Drugstore of the West” and Hipwell's “The Prescription Druggist". Popular national brands included Nyal and Rexall products.

Photograph (top right): Chilliwack Progress. (Sept. 15, 1948). Hipwell Drugs Advertisement.

Photograph (right): Chilliwack Museum and Archives. (1944). Barbers Drugs 1944 Prize List AM 714

What’s in a 1910 Drugstore?

Syrup of Spruce and Tar:  cough syrup
Norway Pine Syrup:  cough and cold medicine.
Pectoral Balsam:  relief, and gradual cure, of coughs, colds, sore throats, hoarseness, difficulty of breathing, catarrhs, asthma, and consumption.
Sal Ammoniac: to alleviate the pain of a sore throat.
Quinine Sulphate: antimalarial drug.
Lead Acetate: shrinkage of mucous membranes or exposed tissues.
Potassium Iodide: expectorants, emergency treatment for hyperthyroidism.
Dover’s Powder:  traditional medicine against cold and fever.
Colchicine: gout; anti-inflammatory.
Tincture of Opium (Laudanum): analgesic and cough suppressant: constituent of many patent medicines.
Fowlers Solution: containing potassium arsenite that once was prescribed as a tonic.
Argyrol:  to treat gonorrhea, and as a preventative of gonorrheal blindness in newborn infants.
Spirits of Turpentine: used for abrasions and wounds, as a treatment for lice, and when mixed with animal fat it has been used as a chest rub, or inhaler for nasal and throat ailments. 
Ipecac: cough mixtures as an expectorant or an emetic.
Saltpetre: asthma, sore throats, arthritis.
Morphia (Morphine): to relieve severe pain.
Burdock Blood Bitters: dyspepsia, dizziness, headache, variable appetite, souring of food, heart palpitation, constipation, biliousness, scrofula, rheumatism, pain in loins, dropsy, female complaints. Burdocks’s contained 19% alcohol.

Photograph (top left): Chilliwack Museum and Archives. (1905). Interior view of the Barber Drug Store, Yale Road East, Chilliwack 1905. P544

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