• “Carriage and Covered Wagon Caravan,” 1880s. Courtesy of the Brigham Young University, Harold B. Lee Library via Mountain West Digital Library.

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    Carriage and covered wagon caravan
    • Date
    • ca. 1880-1889
    • Creator
    • Beard, George, 1855-1944.
    • Description
    • A caravan of carriages and covered wagons among the hills. Electronic reproduction. Gelatin dry plate negative ; 12.70 x 17.78 cm. (5 x 7 in.).
    • Rights
    • Http://lib.byu.edu/about/copyright/special_collections.php; Public domain, Courtesy L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University; Public
    • Partner
    • Mountain West Digital Library
    • Contributing Institution
    • Brigham Young University - Harold B. Lee Library

  • Interior of Lion Drug Store in Duluth, Minnesota. Courtesy of the University of Minnesota Duluth, Kathryn A. Martin Library, Northeast Minnesota Historical Center Collections via Minnesota Digital Library.

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    Lion Drug Store interior, Duluth, Minnesota
    • Description
    • August Lofgren was a Duluth pharmacist operating businesses in West Duluth and the West End, eventually using the name Lion Drug Store at 2031 West Superior Street.
    • Rights
    • It is not necessary to seek permission to publish or otherwise use public domain materials that the Library has made available either online or directly to you from the collections at the University of Minnesota Duluth, Kathryn A. Martin Library. Thi... more
      It is not necessary to seek permission to publish or otherwise use public domain materials that the Library has made available either online or directly to you from the collections at the University of Minnesota Duluth, Kathryn A. Martin Library. This applies whether your use is noncommercial or commercial. Click here for more information link updated to: https://lib.d.umn.edu/research-collections/archives-special-collections/using-collections less
    • Partner
    • Minnesota Digital Library
    • Contributing Institution
    • University of Minnesota Duluth, Kathryn A. Martin Library, Northeast Minnesota Historical Collections

  • A Kennedy-Andrews Drug Company catalog. Combs, fountain pen ink, eye shades, drawing pencils and stationery were all products that could be ordered from a pharmaceutical supply catalog. Courtesy of the University of Minnesota Libraries, Wangensteen Historical Library via Minnesota Digital Library.

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    Kennedy-Andrews Drug Company catalog, Minneapolis, Minnesota
    • Description
    • Drugstore supply catalog of the Kennedy-Andrews Drug Company. Items for sale include medicines, medical devices, household goods, beauty products, etc.
    • Rights
    • No known U.S. copyright restrictions.
    • Partner
    • Minnesota Digital Library
    • Contributing Institution
    • University of Minnesota Libraries, Wangensteen Historical Library

  • E. H. Cormontan behind the counter in Cormonton's Drug Store, Fosston, Minnesota. Courtesy of the East Polk Heritage Center via Minnesota Digital Library.

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    E. H. Cormontan behind the counter in Cormonton's Drug Store, Fosston, Minnesota
    • Description
    • The photograph shows E. H. Cormontan standing behind the soda counter in Cormontan's Drug Store in Fosston, Minnesota.
    • Rights
    • Rights unknown.
    • Partner
    • Minnesota Digital Library
    • Contributing Institution
    • East Polk Heritage Center

The nineteenth century witnessed a huge migration of settlers into the American frontier. With the promise of a freedom, cheap land and a new life, people headed west. The settlement of the American West gave rise to countless small towns during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.  Many of these settlements lacked access to doctors and hospitals; but eventually many of these towns featured a drugstore. The addition of the drugstore helped the spread of patent medicine across the United States.

The corner drugstore was not just a pharmacy. Drugstores on the frontier frequently sold a wide array of products and were the convenience stores of their time. In addition to pharmaceuticals and patent medicines, drugstores also sold household goods, furnishings, cleaning supplies, greeting cards, and beauty and hygiene products. As the years passed, drugstores began selling food items like crackers, cookies, and candy. The invention of the soda fountain helped to secure the drugstore's place in a community as both a retail store and a social destination.