National Pharmacy Week is being celebrated this year from October 16-22. The work that pharmacists and technicians do behind the scenes in hospitals and other healthcare settings is invaluable and not often acknowledged. We’ve gathered six fun facts about the history of pharmacy!
- If you drink Coca-Cola, Dr. Pepper, Pepsi, or Vernor’s Ginger Ale, then you should thank a pharmacist! Pharmacists John Pemberton, Charles Alderton, Caleb Bradham, and James Vernor are responsible for each drink. Do you think these drinks were intentional recipes or happy little accidents?
- English chemist and apothecary John Walker is the mind behind “friction lights.” We know you think those were obviously a flop because you don’t have friction lights on your shopping list these days, but today we call them matches!
- Did you know that the great Avenger, Thor, worked in a pharmacy before he started saving the world? Well, maybe not Thor himself, but actor Chris Hemsworth spent time cleaning breast pumps at a pharmacy before joining Hollywood.
- While most of us picture a key and a kite when we think of Benjamin Franklin, he also happens to be one of the Founding Fathers of pharmacy. Benjamin Franklin played a significant role in establishing the first public hospital along with the first hospital pharmacy.
- Whodunnit? Agatha Christie’s work as a pharmacist and a nurse during the first World War helped her perfect her ability to write about poisons when she later became a best-selling author.
- We’re going to go out on a limb, and guess that the first thing you think about when you hear about The French Quarter probably isn’t a pharmacy, but maybe it should be! Louis Dufilho Jr. was the first licensed pharmacist and made his home in the French Quarter. Before that, you didn’t need a license to work as a pharmacist. Yikes!
We can’t promise that your next pharmacist will look like Chris Hemsworth, but we think you should say thank you to the next pharmacist or technician you come across!