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30 Oct 2021, last revised 15 Jul 2022

With several bottles from City Drug Store, we expected the store to have been in business for a while, and it was. Throughout its life, it certainly faced competition on Quincy St., with the likes of Geo. H. Nichols, A. J. Scott, P. H. Gallagher, and the store that involved Dr. S. E. Campbell among others. The City Drug Store was listed with Andrew Bram as proprietor (1).

Andrew Bram was born on 30 Nov 1869 in Finland (2) and immigrated to the U.S. in 1880, 1881, or 1882 (3-6). He was in Hancock from about 1883 (24) and was married in Hancock on 04 Oct 1890 (7). Before being proprietor of City Drug Store, he was a clerk for S. D. North & Son's general store in Hancock (8,9).

The drug store was established earlier by Dr. A. W. Lindbohm (3,17), but his wife (3), Naema Lindbohm, was listed in the 1895 and 1897 Polk directories as the druggist at 205 Quincy St. (8,9). The building was labeled a dry goods and clothing store on the 1893 Sanborn map, so it became a drug store sometime between 1893 and 1895. The 205 address was on the north side of Quincy St., between Ravine St. and Tezcuco St., and it was previously 412 before the street was re-numbered.

Sanborn map - Nov 1907
Sanborn map - Nov 1907
Newspaper ad - The Daily Mining Gazette, 14 Dec 1899
Newspaper ad - Dec 1899

Bram then purchased the drug store (17), and we find it called the City Drug Store in the 1899 directory (1). The store continued to be listed at the same location with Andrew Bram as proprietor up to the 1912 directory (10). George E. Blodgett was head pharmacist for 10 years (21), and then he was appointed to Chief of Police in May 1912 (22).

In Jul 1912, Bram sold the store to Werner Nikander (17,23), who previously worked for Carl Printz in Hancock (17), with C. J. Sorsen in Red Jacket (18), and then became proprietor of Eagle Drug Store in Red Jacket (8). In Jul 1914, Axel Durchman was a pharmacist at the store (25), and by Oct 1916, Nikander had sold the store to Axel Durchman and Werner O. Nikander, his son (19,20). The 1921 directory listed only Axel for drugs and stationery, while a Werner Nikander (probably the son) was listed as secretary of the Finnish Lutheran Book Concern (14). Durchman later died in 1926 (17), and his wife (7), Leslie Durchman was listed as proprietor of City Drug Store at 300 Quincy St. in the 1930 and 1939 directories (12,13). The City Drug Store was still listed at the same address in a 1947/1948 business directory (28). It is unknown when the store closed.

Andrew Bram was appointed as postmaster of Hancock in 1913 (24). Curiously, though, he had the occupation of druggist on the 1920 U.S. Federal Census (5). He was not listed in the 1921 directory (14). He was listed as postmaster on the 1930 census (6) and as a salesman for a monument company on the 1940 census (15). He then died on 07 Mar 1944 in Detroit at the age of 74 but his residence was still Hancock and he was buried in Lakeside Cemetery, Hancock (2).

The bottles for the City Drug Store have features of later pharmacy bottles (16). They all have the easy-pour shoulder instead of the rounded shoulder. Bottle #s23 has a collared top, and #s23 and #s38 have graduation marks. It wasn't long after these bottles that pharmacy bottles started to be made by machine. The transition to ABMs marked the end of embossed pharmacy bottles (16).

Pharmacy bottle label<br>Courtesy of the Richard Dana Collection
Pharmacy bottle label
Pharmacy bottle label<br>Courtesy of the Richard Dana Collection
Pharmacy bottle label

References

  1. R. L. Polk & Co. 1899. Houghton County Directory 1899-1900. R. L. Polk & Co., Publishers. Detroit, MI.
  2. Michigan Department of Community Health, Division for Vital Records and Health Statistics; Lansing, Michigan; Death Records (accessed on ancestry.com).
  3. U.S. Census Bureau. 1900 United States Federal Census. accessed on ancestry.com.
  4. U.S. Census Bureau. 1910 United States Federal Census. accessed on ancestry.com.
  5. U.S. Census Bureau. 1920 United States Federal Census. accessed on ancestry.com.
  6. U.S. Census Bureau. 1930 United States Federal Census. accessed on ancestry.com.
  7. Michigan, U.S., Marriage Records, 1867-1952 (accessed on ancestry.com).
  8. R. L. Polk & Co. 1895. Houghton County Directory 1895-96. R. L. Polk & Co., Publishers. Detroit, MI.
  9. R. L. Polk & Co. 1897. Houghton County Directory 1897-98. R. L. Polk & Co., Publishers. Detroit, MI.
  10. R. L. Polk & Co. 1912. 1912 Calumet, Hancock, Houghton and Laurium Directory. R. L. Polk & Co., Publishers. Detroit, MI.
  11. R. L. Polk & Co. 1916. Houghton County Directory 1916-17. R. L. Polk & Co., Publishers. Detroit, MI.
  12. R. L. Polk & Co. 1930. Polk’s Hancock (Michigan) Directory 1930. R. L. Polk & Co., Publishers. Detroit, MI.
  13. R. L. Polk & Co. 1939. Polk’s Hancock (Michigan) Directory 1939. R. L. Polk & Co., Publishers. Detroit, MI.
  14. R. L. Polk & Co. 1921. Michigan State Gazetteer and Business Directory for 1921-1922. R. L. Polk & Co. Detroit, MI.
  15. U.S. Census Bureau. 1940 United States Federal Census. accessed on ancestry.com.
  16. Lindsey, B. accessed in 2021. Historic Glass Bottle Identification & Information Website. sha.org/bottle/medicinal.htm
  17. Holmio, A. K. 2001. History of Finns in Michigan. Wayne State University Press. Detroit, MI.
  18. anonymous. 1895. Memorial Record of the Northern Peninsula of Michigan. The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, IL.
  19. anonymous. (1916, Oct 05). News Happenings in Drugdom. N.A.R.D. Journal 23: 36.
  20. anonymous. (1916, Oct 04). Business News. Trade: A Journal for Retail Merchants 23: 12.
  21. anonymous. (1914, Jan 05). Geo. E. Blodgett Taken by Death. The Calumet News (Calumet, MI). p. 2.
  22. anonymous. (1912, May 10). G. E Blodgett Chief of Police. The Calumet News (Calumet, MI). p. 3.
  23. anonymous. (1912, Jul 27). City Drug Store Sold. The Calumet News (Calumet, MI). p. 3.
  24. anonymous. (1913, Feb 04). A. Bram will be Postmaster. The Calumet News (Calumet, MI). p. 3.
  25. anonymous. (1914, Jul 02). Novel Clock in Hancock. The Calumet News (Calumet, MI). p. 2.
  26. The Daily Mining Gazette. 1947 or 1948. Copper Country Classified Business and Professional Directory. Houghton, MI.

6
City Drug Store bottle
1 oz
color: colorless
top: cork top - tooled
base outline: base shape E
date: 1900-1915
capacity - base mark - rarity:
1 oz. - (none) - scarce
  • the books states A M F & Co. as the maker but none was found on this example
  • capacity marked above the plate

5
City Drug Store bottle
4 oz
color: colorless
top: cork top - tooled
base outline: base shape E
date: 1900-1910
capacity - H x W - base mark - rarity:
2 oz. - 11.1 x 4.5 cm - A M F & CO - scarce
3 oz. - 12.9 x 5.0 cm - (none) - scarce
4 oz. - 14.0 x 5.6 cm - (none) - scarce
8 oz. - 17.8 x 6.8 cm - (none) - scarce
  • capacity not marked on bottle

s38
City Drug Store bottle
8 oz
color: colorless
top: cork top - tooled
base outline: base shape X
date: 1905-1915
capacity - base mark - rarity:
2 oz. - W. B. M. Co. - rare
3 oz. - W. B. M. Co. - rare
8 oz. - W. B. M. Co. - rare
  • capacity marked above the plate

s23
City Drug Store bottle
2 oz
color: colorless
top: cork top - tooled
base outline: base shape O
date: 1905-1915
capacity - base mark - rarity:
2 oz. - (none) - extremely rare
3 oz. - (none) - extremely rare
4 oz. - (none) - extremely rare
16 oz. - (none) - extremely rare
  • capacity marked above the plate