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In the New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library
H. Shurtleff was born in Mattapoisett, Massachusetts, in 1849. He came to New Bedford as a young man and learned his trade as a pharmacist with James E. Blake at his pharmacy. In 1878, Shurtleff opened the only pharmacy in the south end of New Bedford on the corner of Purchase Street and Grinnell Street. He became a registered druggist in 1885 in compliance with State law.
In 1880, Shurtleff married Carrie F. Collins, and the couple had two children. During his lifetime, Shurtleff ran a successful business and trained many others who entered into similar business or became physicians. Prior to his death in 1934, Shurtleff had turned the management of the pharmacy over to his son, Frederic A., who continued to run the business until his retirement in 1955.
Records in this collection concentrate on invoices of supplies as wells as stock and prescription receipts for a New Bedford, Mass., pharmacy, 1883-1925.
The invoices consist of bills and receipts charged to the pharmacy from suppliers and span the years 1883-1891. The supplies for the pharmacy include large quantities of alcohol, flasks, bottles, beakers, boxes, labels, perfume essences, herbs, drugs, and other pharmaceutical materials. The pharmacy stock includes soaps, cosmetics, threads, musical instrument strings, braces, bandages, cigars and other tobacco products. The suppliers are primarily wholesale dealers from Boston as well as a number from New York and Providence.
The prescription receipts are the forms written by physicians for their patients to be filled by the pharmacy, 1912-1925. The majority of these have been trimmed so that the patient's name is no longer there. These forms do identify the physicians practicing in the city along with their office location. The prescriptions indicate the types of medication being prescribed and in some cases the formuale for it. This reflects the general health of the city as well as the types of illnesses and diseases occurring at the time. There are also formulae for medications on the inside covers of these volumes. Receipts from 1912 to 1916 are few and sporadic.
Arrangement of Collection
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New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library Mss 96, [sub-group, series, sub-series, folder/volume as appropriate], [item]
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Material in this collection was donated to the Old Dartmouth Historical Society by Nestor and Mary Mesquita on 12 January 1984.
Processed by: Judith M. Downey, 26 December 1989
Encoded by: Kermit Dewey, 23 April 2012; box list appended by Mark Procknik, 24 April 2012
Business records--Mass.--New Bedford
Drug trade--Mass.--New Bedford
Medicine--Mass.--New Bedford--Formulae, receipts, prescriptions
Pharmacy paraphernalia--Mass.--New Bedford
Shurtleff Pharmacy (New Bedford)
Shurtleff, Israel H., 1849-1934