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Archival Oddities


A.C. Thorburn Prescription Ledger

In 1900,  Dr. C.F. Abraham M.D.C.M. of Ferry Street, Niagara Falls prescribed belladonna, strychnine, aromatic ammonium and syrup tolu balsam for Baby Smith.

This prescription is taken from an article by Ronald C. McGarry, MD., PhD and Pamela McGarry, RN, BScN entitled "Please pass the strychnine: The Art of Victorian Pharmacy" (Medicine in Canada, Dec. 14, 1999 161(12)) Dr. McGarry's great grandfather graduated from medical school in 1894 and practiced medicine in Niagara Falls until 1948. He wrote many of the prescriptions in a book which is described in this article as a “prescription ledger”. Prescriptions were filled by A.C. Thorburn of Niagara Falls, as well as some other pharmacies. The books from 1899-1900 and 1900-1904 are mentioned in this article. The ledger which is in the Archives and Special Collections of Brock University Library appears to be the 1906-1908 version of this set of prescription books.

The local doctors whose prescriptions are in the book include: J. H. McGarry; F.W.E. Wilson; C. F. Abraham; W.E. Olmsted; W.W. Thompson; Dr. Robb, dentist; Horace R. Elliot, physician and surgeon and Dr. Sutherland, eye, ear nose and throat specialist.

A.C. Thorburn Pharmacy, Niagara Falls, Ontario