Pharmacist Fun Facts: From Coca-Cola To Necco!

Pharmacists have played a significant role in shaping various industries throughout history. From creating popular drinks like Coca-Cola and Dr. Pepper to establishing America’s longest-operating candy company, Necco, pharmacists have made important contributions to society.

In this article, we’ll explore some fun facts about pharmacists and their impact on the world. Not only have pharmacists made contributions to various industries, but they have also played a crucial role in the medical field.

From developing historical medicines to advocating for diversity in the profession, pharmacists have left their mark on history. This article will delve into the innovations and achievements of pharmacists, as well as highlight some of the famous figures in the profession, including Hubert Humphrey and Mary Munson Runge.

Through this exploration of pharmacist fun facts, we hope to shed light on the important role pharmacists have played in shaping society.

Pharmacist Fun Facts

Pharmacist Innovations

Pharmacists have made significant contributions to various industries through their pharmaceutical advancements and modern pharmacy techniques.

One example of this is the invention of Coca-Cola and Dr. Pepper by pharmacist John Pemberton and Charles Alderton, respectively. These soda fountain drinks were initially sold for medicinal purposes but later became popular as refreshments.

Additionally, the establishment of licensing requirements for pharmacists in Louisiana in 1804 led to the creation of the first licensed pharmacist in the United States, Louis Dufilho Jr. This paved the way for modern pharmacy practices and the regulation of the industry.

Another significant contribution of pharmacists is the creation of Necco, which started as apothecary lozenges made by pharmacist Oliver Chase and went on to become the longest-operating candy company in America.

These examples highlight the impact of pharmacists on various industries and their role in shaping modern society through their innovations.

Famous Pharmacist Figures

Notable figures in the field of pharmacy include John Pemberton, Hubert Humphrey, and Mary Munson Runge. Pemberton, a pharmacist, is best known for inventing Coca-Cola in 1886. Despite being sold initially as a medicine, it quickly gained popularity as a soda fountain drink and is now one of the most recognized brands in the world.

Hubert Humphrey, another pharmacist, was a former US Vice President and senator. He played a significant role in the passage of legislation that improved the healthcare system in America. The American Pharmacists Association established the Hubert Humphrey Award in his honor to recognize pharmacists who have made notable contributions to public health.

Pharmacist entrepreneurs have also made significant contributions to society. For example, Jacob Baur started the Liquid Carbonic Company in 1888, where he manufactured carbon dioxide in tanks, and then the soda fountain was born. Another pharmacist, Charles Alderton, invented Dr. Pepper in 1885 while working in a drugstore in Waco, Texas.

However, not all pharmacy remedies have been successful. Unusual remedies such as consuming gold and human brain emerged in ancient times and the 17th century, respectively, but have since been abandoned due to the lack of evidence supporting their effectiveness.

Despite these failures, the field of pharmacy continues to evolve and innovate, with pharmacists playing a vital role in improving the health and wellbeing of society.

Historical Medicines

In ancient times, it was common in China to consume gold as a medicine in the hopes of prolonging life.

The use of traditional remedies and ancient cures has been a part of human history for centuries.

For example, the consumption of human brain emerged in the 17th century as a cure to ailments of the mind, particularly epilepsy.

However, these practices have largely been replaced by modern medicine and are no longer considered effective treatments.

One of the most significant discoveries in the field of medicine was made in approximately 700 CE by Iranian chemist Abu Musa Jabir Ibn Hayyan Al-Azdi.

He discovered how to make gold dissolve in liquid in a concoction that became referred to as aqua regia, or royal water.

This discovery led to the development of several gold-based medicines that were used for centuries to treat various illnesses.

However, the use of gold in medicine has largely been phased out due to the development of more effective treatments.

Rise of Soda Fountains

The soda fountain became a popular social gathering place in the early 20th century, with nearly every drugstore boasting one by the 1920s, bubbling with sparkling drinks and sweet treats like a fountain of indulgence. It was a place where people could socialize and enjoy a refreshing drink or dessert.

The concept of the soda fountain originated in the 1850s, when people would seek fountain drinks from their local drugstore to cure physical ailments. The idea was to provide a drink that was not only medicinal but also enjoyable.

The soda fountain evolved over time, with new flavors and concoctions being introduced to the public. With the rise of prohibition, soda fountains became even more popular as people needed a place to socialize.

The social impact of the soda fountain cannot be overstated, as it was a place where people of all backgrounds could come together and enjoy a refreshing drink or dessert. Today, the soda fountain remains a nostalgic reminder of a bygone era, but its impact on society and culture will never be forgotten.

Pharmacist Diversity Advocacy

Advocating for diversity in the pharmacy profession has been a significant focus for the American Pharmacists Association, with efforts to increase representation of women and minorities in leadership positions. Pharmacist diversity initiatives aim to create a more inclusive environment for underrepresented groups in the profession and to address the challenges faced by these individuals. These initiatives include developing mentorship programs, providing scholarships and educational opportunities, and advocating for policies that support diversity and inclusion.

Despite the efforts made by the American Pharmacists Association, challenges faced by underrepresented pharmacists still persist. These challenges include experiencing discrimination, lack of access to resources and networking opportunities, and limited representation in leadership positions.

To address these challenges, it is important for the pharmacy profession to continue to prioritize diversity and inclusion and to provide support and resources for underrepresented groups. By doing so, the profession can create a more equitable and diverse community that benefits everyone involved.

Longest-Operating Candy Company

The longevity of a candy company can evoke a sense of nostalgia and appreciation for its enduring presence in American culture.

One such company is the New England Confectionary Company (Necco), which was founded in 1847 as Chase and Company by English-born pharmacist Oliver Chase.

The company gained fame through its innovative candy creations, including the iconic Necco Wafers, which were first produced in 1847 and became a staple in American candy culture.

Necco’s impact on American culture is undeniable, as the company has been producing candy for over 170 years.

The company also played a significant role in the soda fountain culture of the early 20th century, as many drugstores with soda fountains also sold Necco candies.

In 2018, Necco was acquired by the Spangler Candy Company, who promised to continue producing the iconic Necco Wafers and other Necco candies for generations to come.

Pharmacist Firsts

One notable achievement in the history of pharmacy involves the first licensing requirement for pharmacists, which was implemented by the state of Louisiana in 1804. Prior to this, anyone could run an apothecary after a brief apprenticeship. The licensing requirement ensured that pharmacists had a sufficient level of education and training before being able to practice. This marked a significant milestone in the evolution of pharmacy education and practice legalization.

Another important first in the pharmacy profession was the establishment of the first licensed pharmacist in America, Louis Dufilho Jr., in 1816. This marked a turning point in the recognition of pharmacy as a legitimate profession.

Since then, many other pioneers have made significant contributions to the profession, including the first woman and first African American to become president of the American Pharmacists Association, Mary Munson Runge. These pharmacist firsts have paved the way for the modern practice of pharmacy and continue to inspire future generations of pharmacists.

Summary and Conclusion

Pharmacists are healthcare professionals whose primary role is to dispense medication, but there is more to their profession than meets the eye. The pharmacy profession is rich in history, and there are many fun and interesting facts about pharmacists and their contributions to society.

One of the most surprising facts is that Coca-Cola was invented by a pharmacist named John Pemberton. Another fun fact is that in 2500 BCE, it was common in China to consume gold in the hopes of prolonging life. In approximately 700 CE, the Iranian chemist Abu Musa Jabir Ibn Hayyan Al-Azdi discovered how to make gold dissolve in liquid in a concoction that became referred to as aqua regia, or royal water.

Similar to the concept of “like cures like” found in homeopathic medicine, the consumption of human brain emerged in the 17th century as a cure to ailments of the mind. Hubert Humphrey, a former US Vice President and senator, was also a pharmacist like his father. The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) established the Hubert Humphrey Award in 1978, which is given annually to recognize APhA members who have made substantial contributions in government and/or legislative service.

Chris Hemsworth, who is best known for his role as Thor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, worked in a pharmacy in Australia before making it big in Hollywood. Dr. Pepper, a popular soda, was created by Charles Alderton, a pharmacist, in 1885. The soda fountain was “born” in the 1850s, and almost every drugstore had one by the early 1920s.

Before there were pharmacies, there were apothecaries, which could be run by anyone after a brief apprenticeship. In 1804, Louisiana became the first state to require licensing for pharmacists, and in 1816 French immigrant Louis Dufilho Jr. became America’s first licensed pharmacist. Oliver Chase, an English-born pharmacist, made apothecary lozenges, which would later become known as candy.

Pharmacists have also broken barriers. In 1979, Gloria Niemeyer Francke Runge was elected president of the American Pharmacists Association, becoming the first woman and the first African American to be named to the role. Anna Louise James was not only the first Black woman to graduate from the Brooklyn College of Pharmacy, but she was also one of the first Black women to be a licensed pharmacist in the United States.

In conclusion, these fun facts demonstrate that pharmacists are more than just individuals who dispense medication. They have played important roles in history and continue to make significant contributions to society. The pharmacy profession is rich in history and is constantly evolving to meet the needs of the communities they serve.

Frequently Asked Questions

What were some common ailments that people sought to cure with fountain drinks in the 1850s?

Fountain drinks were sought in the 1850s to cure physical ailments such as headaches, indigestion, and fatigue. However, there is no evidence that specific drinks like Coca Cola or Necco remedies were used for these purposes at the time.

What other professions have some famous figures who were also pharmacists?

Famous pharmacists include Hubert Humphrey, former US Vice President and senator, and Anna Louise James, one of the first Black women to be a licensed pharmacist in the US. A career in pharmacy offers diverse opportunities in research, healthcare, and business.

What were some unusual substances that were consumed for medicinal purposes in history?

Historically, people consumed unusual substances for medicinal purposes such as gold in China, aqua regia in Iran, and human brain for epilepsy. Coca Cola was sold as a soda fountain drink and Necco started as lozenges.

How did Prohibition contribute to the popularity of soda fountains?

During prohibition, the rise of soda fountains provided a place for socializing and a non-alcoholic alternative to bars. This cultural impact on American society led to almost every drugstore having a soda fountain by the early 1920s.

How did Mary Munson Runge advocate for diversity within the American Pharmacists Association?

Mary Munson Runge advocated for professional inclusivity and diversity initiatives within the American Pharmacists Association. She worked to increase representation of women and minorities in leadership positions and established a scholarship in her name after her death in 2014.

Danielle Winner

Hello my name is Danielle Winner. Welcome to my site on Pharmacy School and tips and tricks to hopefully help you get in. It's not easy but hopefully you can learn to not make mistakes that students (myself included) make. Good luck on your journey. I graduated from Albany School of Pharmacy in May 2010 and have had a few different jobs across the east coast of the U.S.

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