Wednesday, September 14, 2022

1960s Upjohn Pharmacy Interior

The Upjohn Pharmacy was a staple along Disneyland’s Main Street until 1970. The exhibits inside touted the pharmaceutical manufacturing firm that had been founded in 1886 in Hastings, Michigan, by Dr. William E. Upjohn, an 1875 graduate of the University of Michigan medical school. The company was originally formed to make friable pills, which were designed to be easily digested. These could be “reduced to a powder under the thumb,” which was their big selling point. Note the slogan on the clock detail below:

These “friable pills” dissolved in the stomach, releasing the active ingredient into the bloodstream and letting patients feel their effects. The patent was granted in February 1885, which helped the business to grow and made possible the founding of the The Upjohn Pill and Granule Company in 1886 in Kalamazoo. What else did you get to see at the Main Street Upjohn Pharmacy? Leeches. I think I’ll pass on that one.

For this previously posted shot, the accompanying publicity caption was this:

A slightly-scary exhibit makes Cathy Smith's eyes pop as she looks at a jar of leeches, the flat worms once considered very important in medicine. As part of the treatment of a variety of ailments, the creatures were used to draw blood from patients.

This previously posted 1960 image gives another vantage point of the Pharmacy:

…and a better detail of the clock:

Upjohn went defunct in 1995, only to be briefly resurrected in 2015 by its then owner, Pfizer, who used the Upjohn name for the manufacturing of drugs with patents that had expired. The name disappeared again in 2020 when Pfizer merged Upjohn with Mylan and came up with the name Viatris.

See more Disneyland Upjohn Pharmacy photos at my main website.


Anonymous said...

Upjohn was such a cornucopia of sights when you mixed leeches with pills...all in jars of course. When I started in 1969, I would walk over and get vitamin samples for the family. 12 pills in a bottle, so they'd give me 4-5 of them to carry us over for a month or two. Fun times. KS

Anonymous said...

I remember this exhibit, fascinating stuff, especially the leeches. Back when Disneyland in general, and Main Street in particular, had a real educational component.

Like KS, I would get a bottle of vitamins. I thought I still had one, but it's not in the box where I thought, so maybe not.

Dave, thanks for posting some of my older comments on your site with the photos, I was re-reading those just last week, and laughing.


Fifthrider said...

That's great but kind of sad. You can't find any pharmacies that carry leeches like they used to. The closest you can come to that today are parasitic YouTubers who make a living filming their "adventures" around the park for a monetized channel. Chapek's a bit of a bloodsucker too.

I don't think I would have noticed the clock if you hadn't pointed it out. Thank you.

Daveland said...

JG - The comments from you, KS, and the other readers over the year have been incredible. I like to keep things organized and in one place easy to find - so keep 'em coming!

Bryan - You always put a smile on my face with your comments!