Medicine and Malts The History of Pharmacy and Soda Fountains

This is an EXAMPLE of what you may choose to do with Adobe Spark and your final project for PHA5020 History of Pharmacy. Please note that your project will need more content and references to be considered complete. Please refer to the project rubric for further guidelines.

At the turn of the 20th century, the local "drugstore provided full-time employment, but only a part-time practice of pharmacy" (Sonnedecker, p. 5). A study conducted in the 1930s "indicated that an average drugstore received only eight prescriptions per day," although the fact that this is an average should be considered (p. 7). At a time when pharmacists received little of their income from prescriptions, the soda fountain was a profitable feature in the local pharmacy, especially given that "at least half of all pharmacists were owners or managers of the establishments" (p. 6).

With the enactment of Prohibition in 1919, the soda fountain "became a social center" for local communities. While soda fountains could be found in "dime stores, department stores, and train stations, " they were a very important part of the local pharmacy in the 1920s and 193s. In the decade that followed Prohibition, approximately 60% of all pharmacies included a soda fountain, and that number grew until the World War II era. Store space was given over to tables and chairs, and the sale of sodas, ice cream and other consumables were an important part of the pharmacist's profits (Sonnedecker, p.5).

In their heyday, soda fountains flourished in pharmacies, ice cream parlors, candy stores, dime stores, department stores, milk bars and train stations. They served an important function as a public space where neighbors could socialize and exchange community news. In the early 20th century, many fountains expanded their menus and became lunch counters, serving light meals as well as ice cream sodas, egg creams, sundaes, and such. Soda fountains reached their height in the 1940s and 1950s.

An establishment in which pharmacy is practiced is called a pharmacy. In the United States, drugstores commonly sell drugs, as well as miscellaneous items such as confectionery, cosmetics, office supplies, and magazines and occasionally refreshments and groceries.

Consider adding videos. Adobe Spark allows you to embed videos from YouTube or you can create your own using Spark.

Pharmacies with Soda Fountains were places for communities to gather. Here is an example from a classic film.


Don't forget to cite your sources using a proper format. APA and MLA are both acceptable.

Created By
Julie Thomas


Created with images by Wystan - "Potter's Soda Fountain, Three Rivers, Michigan." • skeeze - "soda jerk black and white fountain" • StillWorksImagery - "apothecary bottles medicine" • davitydave - "Soda Jerk" • Average Jane - "Elliston Pharmacy soda fountain" • Cindy Funk - "Soda Fountain" • Joe Shlabotnik - "The Ol' Soda Fountain" • rich701 - "107 Daffin's Drug Store, Panama City, Florida WWII" • Wystan - "The Eat Shop, where dining is a pleasure -- Manistique, Michigan. Juke box, soda fountain."

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