10 Vintage Ads Show How Pharmacy Has Changed

Pharmacy has changed a lot in the last 70 years, and these old ads prove it.


In 1944, the United States was in the thick of the Second World War. But even as the country battled overseas, it still had to function on the homefront.

Taken from the Drug Topics archives, these ads show an America adjusting to wartime shortages. But they also show how pharmacies were right at the center of commerce in the 1940s. From soda fountains to aspirin, pharmacies had it all. Some of the companies here no longer exist anymore, but others are still household names after all these years.


We hope you enjoy these old ads as much as we do! And if you decide to open up a soda fountain or start stocking Dr. Salsbury’s Par-o-san, send us a picture!

1. Sani-Glas

“Death-dealing irradiation of Westinghouse Sterilamps protects every Sani-Glas bottle and cap from air-borne bacteria.”


Hopefully, those sneeze guards worked!


2. Coca-Cola

“What can you do when trained personnel is difficult to get … when customers want out-of-stock items … when equipment needs attention immediately.” This handy-dandy booklet tells you how to cope!

The war helped begin the slow death of the soda fountain, but ads like these show just how important they still were.


3. Par-o-san

“Yes, farmers who raise poultry are asking for this safe, dependable disinfectant that ‘doesn’t stink.’”

You might think that any extra scents on top of the scent of chickens wouldn’t be that noticeable, but apparently, people had concerns. And this ad shows that pharmacies weren’t limited to human health concerns.


4. Miracle Tuft Toothbrush

“Over 30 million people, exercising the right of choice, bought Dr. West’s Miracle-Tuft Toothbrushes last year when they saw this famous label.”


How many ads still use “cigarettes” and “freedom” in the same paragraph?


5. Silk Dental Floss

“We all know there’s nothing like real silk for floss.”


What do you think?

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