Snow Pharmacy Records, 1889–1965

Vault A25, Unit 30 (Off-Site Storage*)


John H. SnowEXTENT: nine bound volumes, eight boxes, and two oversized folders.

ORGANIZATION: Organized into four series:  Series I. Ledger books, 1915–1922, Series II. Prescription books, 1889–1932, Series III. Prescription cards, 1932–1965, Series IV. Loose records, 1918–1934.

HISTORY: Snow Pharmacy was located on the Friend’s Block in Concord Center (Concord, Mass), at the intersection of Main Street and Walden Street (now 49–57 Main Street). The block was built in 1892 by pharmacist John C. Friend, who relocated his Concord pharmacy to the first floor of the new building. In 1913, John C. Friend sold the pharmacy to Concord pharmacist John H. Snow. The pharmacy was maintained by Snow’s successors until the 1990s. Walter Foley (1931–2010) was the last pharmacist of Snow Pharmacy.

SCOPE AND CONTENT: The collection contains nine bound volumes—two ledgers (1915–1922) and seven prescription books (1889–1932); eight boxes of prescription cards—five arranged by date (1932–1945) and three arranged by the patient’s last name (A–Z); and two oversized folders of loose records (1918–1934) that were removed from the bound volumes I, II, IV, and VI.

SOURCES OF ACQUISITION: Gift of Walter Foley 1998 and (through his family) 2011.

*RESTRICTIONS ON ACCESS AND USE: The Snow Pharmacy Records are stored in an off-site vault.  To use the collection, researchers must provide at least twenty-four hours advance notice and specific citations to box(es) and folder(s) desired.  Contact the William Munroe Special Collections (978 318-3342) for additional information or to arrange to use the collection. 

Except for aggregate studies, the use of the records is closed for seventy-five years from the date of creation. 

NOTES/COMMENTS: 1998 gift accessioned; AMC A026.

PROCESSED BY: Jill L. Morton; finding aid completed April 2012.


SERIES I. Ledger books, 1915–1922

Volume I: November 1, 1915–August 26, 1919
Spine reads: Ledger
The beginning of the volume is arranged like an address book, with tabs A–Z. On these pages are customer’s names, organized by last name, with the corresponding page number on which more detailed information about their account can be found. The rest of the volume includes detailed transactions for each person’s account, including the date of the transaction, items purchased, the price, and account totals.

Volume II: March 1, 1917–December 31, 1922 (no transactions listed between September 1, 1917–November 1, 1917)
Ledger containing daily transactions at the pharmacy including the items purchased, their cost, and the weekly expense and income totals. Customer’s purchases and account information is sometimes noted.


SERIES II. Prescription books, 1889–1932

Volume III: (n.d.)
This volume contains the original prescriptions pasted into the prescription book, ostensibly in the order of processing. The volume does not contain any information about dates when the prescriptions were filled, but the prescriptions are numbered sequentially starting with 29047 and ending with 35008. The volume contains prescriptions written by:
     Dr. N. H. Kirby
     Dr. George E. Titcomb
     Dr. A Coolidge, Jr.
     Jas E. Cooper (Pharmacist)
     H. L. Alderman (Vet. Surgeon)
     L. S. Hawes (Vet. Surgeon)
     B. F. Johnson (Pharmacist)
     F. B. Day & Sons, Apothecaries
     Dr. O. P. Porter
     Dr. M. L. Chamberlain
     Theodore Metcalf, Co., Pharma Chemists
     Dr. Edmund Scott Dow
     Dr. F. J. Baker
     A. A. Tilden’s
     H. S. Richardson (Pharmacist)
     John C. Friend (Pharmacist)
     E. E. Butman (Pharmacist)

Volume IV: March 2, 1889–October 15, 1891
Like Volume III, this volume contains the original prescriptions that have been pasted into the book. Most of these prescriptions are written on lined paper without any indication of who the doctor is. The prescriptions are numbered and dated, starting with 15301 and ending with 23200. 

Volume V: December 26, 1905–March 21, 1911
This volume is missing a back cover and the spine has been badly damaged. A few loose pages are blank. It contains the original prescriptions, but unlike Volume III and IV, the prescriptions have been pasted in so that they overlap each other. The prescriptions are numbered from 5052 to 57306. Many of the prescriptions have been printed on a letterhead bearing the doctor’s and pharmacy’s information, including:
     Dr. F. J. Baker
     Dr. Theodore Chamberlain
     H.S. Richardson (Pharmacist)
     The Whitney Pharmacy
     Dr. N. W. Cousens
     Dr. F. U. Reich
     Dr. Elliott P. Joslin
     Dr. A. DeRobertis
     Concord Drug Store
     Dr. I. L. Pickard
     Dr. Henry A. Wood
     Dr. G. W. Winchester
     Dr. T. F. Tierney
     Ellingwood and Co. (Pharmacist)
     Dr. E. H. Bradford
     Dr. Robert Soutter
     Dr. E. E. Hamblen
     Dr. Henry J. Walcott, Jr.
     Dr. William C. Durkee
     Dr. E. L. Sawyer
     Boston City Hospital
     Dr. J. M. O’Brien
     Dr. Patrick M. Homan
     Dr. Immanuel Pfeiffer, Jr.
     Dr. Allen Greenwood
     Dr. E. S. Boland
     Dr. Edward E. Thorpe
     Dr. Henry Ehrlich
     Melvin and Badger Apothecaries
     Dr. E. G. Cutler
     M. B. Crowell, Co. (Pharmacist)
     Frank K. Lynch and Co.
     Robert Fabury Pharmacy
     Dr. Frank E. Talty
     Dr. Arthur K. Stone
     Dr. Franz Dfaff
     Dr. Lewis C. McQuode
     Lyceum Hall Pharmacy
     Dr. C. F. Brocke
     Dr. Louisa Paine Tingley
     Dr. I. D. Carl
     Dr. Fredrick E. Cheney
     Dr. Walter C. Kite
     Dr. Edwards W. Newman
     Dr. John J. Gailey
     Dr. Julia T. Metcalf
     Dr. Harrington Bennett Munroe
     Dr. Edwin S. Drowne
     Dr. Fredrick L. Wood
     Dr. D. S. Woodworth
     Dr. Elizabeth T. Gray

Volume VI: October 10, 1909–November 6, 1915
Spine reads: Copy Prescription Book
Records of the prescriptions processed each day. Each prescription has been handcopied into the prescription book, numbered, and initialed. The prescriptions contain information about ingredients, dosages, instructions on taking the medication, the doctor’s name, and sometimes the patient’s name. The numbered prescriptions start with 8739 and end with 19448. There are no breaks in the numbering.  

Volume VII: November 7, 1915–December 31, 1920
Spine reads: Prescriptions
Volume VII is similar to Volume VI, VIII, and VIX with handcopied prescriptions separated by date and numbered starting with 19449 and ending with 28800. Each prescription contains information on the prescription being filled, the dosage, instructions for taking the medication, the doctor’s name, the druggist’s initials, and sometimes the patient’s name.

Volume VIII: January 1, 1921–December 31, 1923
Pasted to the inside cover and the first page is a recipe for mixing prescriptions and a letter from the United States Treasury Department dated July 14th, 1922 about counterfeit prescription forms forged for prescription liquor. The letter is signed R. A. Haynes, Prohibition Commissioner and D. H. Blair, IRS Commissioner.
The rest of the volume is very similar to Volume VI and VII. The prescriptions are separated by date and numbered starting with 28801 and ending with 56923. Each prescription contains information on the prescription being filled, the dosage, instructions for taking the medication, the doctor’s name, the druggist’s initials, and sometimes the patient’s name.

Volume IX: August 31, 1925–March 1, 1932
Spine reads: Copy Prescription Book, H. F. Hawthorne
Similar to Volumes VI, VII, and VIII, this prescription book records the prescriptions numbered from 76464 to 113452. This numbering system ends on page 563 and a new prescription numbering system starts on page 564, starting with A1000 and ending with A4171. The volume ends and 142 numbered pages have been pasted into the end of the book as a continuation of this appendix. The prescription numbering is continued as are the dates.


SERIES III. Prescription cards, 1932–1965

Box I: August 12, 1932–April 10, 1936; prescription numbers 91004 to 93410
This box is organized by the prescription numbers. Each card contains multiple prescriptions. Most of the prescriptions are recorded on the cards with a typewriter. Some are handwritten. The cards contain information on the patient’s name, the town they live in (if not Concord), the prescription number, the date the prescription was filled, the price for the medication, the ingredients that make up the medication, the dosage and the amount dispensed, the drug manufacturer, as well as the instruction for taking the medication, and the doctor’s name. Notably, prescriptions for “Narcotics” consistently do not include anything other than the prescription number.  

Box II: May 14, 1936–August 26, 1939; prescription numbers 93471–96356 (with some gaps)
The prescription cards in this box have the same type of information as those in Box I.

Box III: August 29, 1939–February 27, 1942; prescription numbers 96365–99501 (with some gaps)
The prescription cards in this box have the same type of information as those in Box I.

Box IV: February 28, 1942–March 23, 1944; prescription numbers 99502–102500 (with some gaps)
The prescription cards in this box have the same type of information as those in Box I.

Box V: March 23, 1944–December 6, 1945; prescription numbers 102504–10669 (with some gaps)
The prescription cards in this box have the same type of information as those in Box I.

Box VI: Patient names A–G (1958–1965)
(Earliest date filled is September 11, 1958)
Each card contains the patient’s name, their street address, or the town name if not Concord, the date on which the prescriptions were filled and the prescription number, which is sometimes accompanied by the drug name.

Box VII: Patient names H–N (1958–1965)
The prescription cards in this box have the same type of information as those in Box VI.

Box VIII: Patient names O–Z (1958–1965)
The prescription cards in this box have the same type of information as those in Box VI.


SERIES IV. Loose records, 1918–1934

Folder I: Loose records from Volume I including account and creditor information, receipts, and calculations from the pharmacy, 1918–1919. 

Loose records from Volume II including tax documents some relating to Jeremiah J. Erisman and scraps of paper with calculations, 1921–1928.

Folder II: Two loose items from Volume IV. One, a postcard from the Tuerk Hydraulic Power Co. addressed to J. T. Stetson of Concord, MA and the second a scrap piece of paper with some unidentified calculations. Both pieces of paper are not dated.

Loose items from Volume VI including calculations made on a small lined piece of notebook paper found between pages 200 and 201 and dated February 19, 1934 to April 2, 1934.


c2012 Concord Free Public Library, Concord, Mass.
Not to be reproduced in any form without permission of the Curator of the William Munroe Special Collections, Concord Free Public Library.

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Mounted 14 April 2012.    rcwh.