Who is old enough to remember what drug stores were really like?

Nowadays drug stores are not much more than this: You walk in the front door, pass by the candy and cash registers, walk through aisles of toothpaste & band-aids, and the discount/outdated stuff displays. You go all the way to the back of the store where the pharmacy is, wait in line, give the pharmacist aide your vital statistics, and then get told your prescription isn't ready...then to kill some time, you go thumb through the table of discounted holiday candy.

When I was a kid, a drug store was kind of a cool place to go. I would go in and head straight for the bin full of vinyl records. I remember perusing thru all those lps, wishing I had the money to buy one. Then there were the rack of comic books, shelves full of candy, and you could order a soda pop.

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Way before I was born, drug stores were even cooler...MUCH cooler.

The drug stores from the late-1800s to the 1950s were places to hang out. They had counters where you sat on uncomfortable stools and had a milk shake, malted, hamburger, sandwich, or any of the numerous items featured on a wall menu. There were cases of cigars for the men, perfumes for the ladies, bulk foods & grains, and ice cream. A rack stood off to the side full of magazines: newsy stuff for the adults, movie and music mags for the teens. Many of the old drug stores were akin to the general stores, complete with an old wood-burning pot-belly stove.

Remembering and seeing how those old drug stores used to be is a fond remembrance for some, an eye-opening experience for others. Nowadays whenever I think of a drug store, all I can picture is waiting in a long line standing next to a bin full of 50% off-soon-to-be-expired cold medicine.

Here's a gallery of old Michigan drug stores, from 1900-1960s...

Inside Old Michigan Drug Stores: 1900-1960


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