Thursday, May 15, 2008
Earlier this spring, I attended a gardening convention held at Landmark Park in Dothan, Alabama. The old Martin Drug Store was moved there from Enterprise, and reopened four years ago. An operating pharmacy from 1898 to 1983, it's now part museum and part ice cream parlor.
You might guess which display I gravitated towards: the historical soap! None of it's for sale, alas. More of these than I'd realized are still made today: Cashmere Bouquet, Octagon, Grandpa's Pine Tar Soap, Palmer's Skin Success Soap. I'm not sure what happened to the others... soaps with charming names like Sterne's Carbolic Soap, Drexel's Wonder Soap, Flotilla Floating Bath Soap, and Packer's Charm Soap.
According to the book Boiled Peanuts and Buckeyes, the people at Martin's "were notorious for not throwing anything away and keeping meticulous records. They held onto every receipt, medicine bottle and cosmetic that ever entered the store... They had the most comprehensive collection of pharmaceutical artifacts in the nation."
I can recommend the Peach ice cream!