The Kentucky Renaissance Pharmacy Museum’s Founder, Gloria Hartman Doughty started collecting pharmacy memorabilia after a gift of pharmacy history books. This gift prompted a lifetime of collecting and preserving pharmacy memorabilia. Ms. Doughty along with her late husband, Professor Dick Doughty, a pharmacognocist, helped in the planning of the medicinal herb gardens at Kentucky’s McDowell House Apothecary in Danville and the Shaker Garden in Pleasant Hill. Beginning in 2000, Ms. Doughty began transcribing the Kentucky Board of Pharmacy minutes stored in the Kentucky state archives in Frankfort, Kentucky. Each activity intensified her dream to develop a pharmacy museum, a venue to showcase our history where we could share the countless stories and contributions that our profession has made and continues to make in the overall health of our commonwealth and its citizens.
All the while, the late Dr. Tom Clark, Kentucky's premier historian, fought to retain the Old Fayette County Courthouse as a historical landmark in downtown Lexington. It was rededicated as The Lexington History Museum to house non-profit museums that are of local, regional and state interest. This venue proved to be suitable as it was also near the "Old Drugstore Corner" of early Lexington. Founder Doughty, with the support of the Kentucky Renaissance Pharmacy Museum Advisory Board, secured space in the Old Fayette County Courthouse to assure that the history of the pharmacy in Kentucky could soon be secured for preservation and display and thereby appreciated by the public.
The Kentucky Renaissance Pharmacy Museum’s unique logo is based on a ruby and white laminated glass panel that once graced the cupola of Johns Drug, an anchor pharmacy near the “Old Drug Store Corner” in downtown Lexington at the turn of the century. One of the four original panels now hangs in the Kentucky Renaissance Pharmacy Museum.
The Kentucky Renaissance Pharmacy Museum is honored to have received the following collections:
*****The Ralph Waldo Arwood Jr. Collection of Merck Manuals and Indexes along with apothecary bottles, jars, beakers, vials and tins, representing Merck production in the 1900’s are displayed in a large 100 year period cabinet donated by the Merck and the Culton Family in the memory of Mr. Arwood. This collection includes an original Merck Manual from 1899. This exhibit comes to our museum with assistance of the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy.
*****The Dr. Mary J. Berg collection of mortars and pestles was assembled during her travels while participating in the International Forum of Women for Pharmacy. Dr. Berg’s Pier Maimone collage collection created to represent the practice of pharmacy in the country hosting the International Forum of Women in Pharmacy meetings is also showcased.
***** The Doughty collection is an extensive collection of pharmacy related items including a 100-year-old marble base glass cabinet from the Hubbard & Curry Pharmacy, assorted pieces of apothecary glass, chemical bottles, balances and pharmacy equipment. A set of The Parke-Davis History of Pharmacy prints is also included in this collection. These prints are displayed for easy viewing by our museum visitors.
******The leaded glass signage was graciously donated by Don Kupper whose family has an extensive history in the practice of pharmacy in the greater Louisville area.
******The Ruth Dunbar collection includes over 50 pieces of pharmacy equipment used in the preparation of compounds. A 103-year-old papier-mâché English Bull dog advertising Dr. Clayton’s dog remedies is an unusual part of this collection. Ms. Dunbar was the first woman to graduate from the College of Pharmacy while the college was located in Louisville.
***** The Gayle-Slone collection of pharmacy conference medals dating from 1893 to 1945. Local, state and national meeting medals are a testament to the early leadership of Gordon Curry, C. Lewis Diehl and J.W. Gayle. Originally preserved by the Bluegrass Pharmacy Association, these 3 wooden shadow boxes hold more than 100 meeting badges, tokens and medals. These items were often crafted by the cities or associations hosting the meetings for promotion of the meeting and the city.
***** The Hinton Collection includes several mid 20th century cabinets as well as a late 19th century tall apothecary chest. A wide array of bottles, jars and other items from Louisville’s Newkirk pharmacy will be displayed in these cabinets.
***** The Clifford Tsuboi book collection (20 items).
*****The Marianne Rollings' miniature of the Colonial Williamsburg Apothecary circa 1790.
Individual items have been contributed by the following Kentucky pharmacists:
Tom Bertram, William Curry, George Dunn, George Grider, Gay Harlowe, Lynn Harrelson, Donald Kupper, Bob Long, Tom Mayhugh, Dr. Harry Smith, Dean Joseph Swintosky.
* On loan is Dr. David Cobb’s miniature pharmacy, representing a 1890 San Francisco drug store and wholesale operation.