Do Pharmacists Sell Farms?: A Trip Inside the Corner Drugstore

Vince Staten, Author Simon & Schuster $22 (208p) ISBN 978-0-684-83485-6
This is charming, nostalgic history by the author of Did Monkeys Invent the Monkey Wrench? Staten takes readers back to the 1970s and before when the local drugstore was virtually a community center, where women bought hair products, men cigars and teenagers hung out at the soda fountain after school. But, as Staten makes clear, the day of the independent corner pharmacy has waned, with the chains now owning more than 50% of the stores and doing 84% of the business. The book is informative about the most popular products marketed by today's drugstores, from Rogaine and Vitalis to Dr. Scholl's Foot-Eazer arch inserts. Amusing are the stories of manufacturers' attempts at advertising sanitary napkins and condoms in a nation that preferred to hang on to the legend of the stork. Making Staten's book even more delightful is his appendix listing 50 old-fashioned corner drugstores still extant around the nation. (June)
Reviewed on: 06/01/1998
Release date: 06/01/1998
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