On Wednesday, September 24 we shared a photo of an artifact on our Facebook page to see if anyone could guess what it was.
There were some good guesses: soap, coaster, hot pad, etc., but there were a few people who guessed correctly….this is a prescription pillbox from Schmidt’s Drugstore. The boxes had a hinged lid so as to prevent it being mixed up with other prescriptions since the instructions for taking the medications were included on the box lid.
Some of our volunteers in the archives recall that Schmidt’s Pharmacy, located at 63 W. Main Street, was the last of the locally owned drugstores that still mixed their own medicinal concoctions. The founders of Schmidt’s, Adam Schmidt, started out in business with Charles A. Smith around 1870 before forming his own store, Schmidt’s in around 1887.
Some other items from our collection relating to local pharmacies include a cork compressor that pharmacists would use to size the corks properly for prescription bottles and a prescription “recipe” book used by Theodore Troupe at Troupe’s Drug Store.
The pillbox became a nickname for military guard posts that were used in WWI and WWII in Europe. The concrete pillboxes had holes from which weapons could be fired.
A popular fashion item also took it’s name from the pillbox: the pillbox style hat, which was popularized by Audrey Hepburn and Jackie Kennedy (and today by Kate Middleton).
Springfield City Directories