8th Stop: Arizona's pharmacy history

The eighth stop on the Pharmacy Museum tour features three striking paintings which depict important moments in Arizona’s pharmacy history. Dillinger at the Owl Drug (1992) depicts the outside of the Owl Drug Store in downtown Tucson, which gangster John Dillinger frequented before his arrest on January 25, 1934. It has been suggested that the woman in the red dress is Dillinger’s famous companion, the “Lady in Red.” Flores Corner (2000), by Tucson artist Guadalupe de la Torre, depicts the botica owned by Tito Flores, one of the colorful pioneers among Arizona pharmacists, as it appeared in 1930. This work was done to commemorate the six Hispanic graduates of the College of Pharmacy’s first class. Territorial Pharmacist (1991) shows a typical pharmacy in Arizona during the state’s territorial days. Although it is not the case today, pharmacies were once a common place for people to meet and socialize as well as a place to buy over-the-counter drugs and have prescriptions filled. Each of these paintings has been turned into a signed lithograph and is available for purchase on the museum’s website.

A nearby display exhibits many ornate pieces, including an exquisite red vessel with intricate gold leaf. It also features another Materia Medica set, multiple countertop candy jars, two spherical show globes, and hand-painted porcelain ware. Tinted bottles, like the ones seen in this display, were used to house light-sensitive materials.

Also in this display are several bookcases containing topical collections of books on pharmacy and related disciplines. Some of the notable items on the shelves are various editions of Remington’s Practice of Pharmacy, Physician’s Desk Reference, and dozens of drug indexes, dispensatories and pharmacopeias. Two spheroidal show globes adorn the sides.

Originally posted: August 21, 2013
Last updated: December 18, 2014
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