1300 S. Coulter
Amarillo, TX 79106
School of Pharmacy, TTUHSC
1300 S. Coulter
Amarillo, TX 79106
|Tuesday - Thursday||10 AM - 12 PM & 1:30 PM - 4 PM|
Susan G. Denney, Curator
Thomas Thekkumkara, Director
Before you even enter the museum, you experience a street scene with mural paintings on the hallway walls of old Amarillo buildings. Red awnings over display windows and the front door beckon you into the pharmacy, a ‘Main Street' establishment vital to community life. The display windows serve as cases for changing exhibits; usually these are selections from recent acquisitions, but there are also special exhibits recognizing donors, National Pharmacy Week, and historical topics showcasing artifacts from the Permanent Collection.
The primary exhibit space is a re-created early 20th century pharmacy, or drug store, as it was more commonly known at that time. Many of the furnishings (open shelf units, display cases, sales counter and pharmacist's compounding counter) were built in England in 1898 for a Baltimore, Maryland pharmacy. The shelves and cases are stocked with ingredients used in compounding, over-the-counter and patent medicines and general merchandise "sideline" products which customers relied upon to meet their health care and personal needs.
Turning right from the Pharmacy is the Tool Room. Its exhibits consist of the tools of trade, such as mortars and pestles, suppository molds, pill rollers, balances, bottles and prescription form filing systems,. It also includes various medications, including nasal delivery systems (atomizers and nebulizers) and injectable products.
Left from the Pharmacy is the Product Room. Case exhibits here include botanical or herbal products, various homeopathic remedies, a 100-year range of products related to women's specific health care needs and various decorative and collectible items. One cabinet contains smaller-scale portable tools and supplies used by frontier doctors, who rode circuit around the region.
The fourth and final room is the Practitioner Room, where retired or deceased pharmacists who practiced in the state of Texas are honored with plaques noting their name and where and when he or she practiced. Registered pharmacist certificates and diplomas from Texas and surrounding states hang on the walls. This room also houses a small research collection that includes published materials related to the pharmacy profession.
Throughout the museum, examples of pharmacy art are prominently displayed, including posters, prints, paintings, photographs and many colorful show globes. These glass vessels represented the pharmacy profession of the past, much the way the barber pole did for its profession.
Billy Walker, a retired drug company representative and avid collector of pharmacy antiques and memorabilia, dreamed of creating a museum to house his extensive collection of pharmacy bottles, tools and furnishings. But he couldn't find anyone interested in turning his dream into reality until he met with Dr. Arthur A. Nelson, Jr., founding dean of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Pharmacy. The two men met in August 1997, and spent the day discussing museum philosophy and digging through Billy's collection of pharmacy artifacts.
Thanks to the dream of one man and the support of many others, the Texas Pharmacy Museum is now a reality. Billy spent an entire year installing his collection and other donated materials into 3,000 square feet of exhibit space located in the TTUHSC School of Pharmacy building on the Amarillo campus. Opened to the public in October 1998, it is the first of its kind in the state of Texas. It also serves as an integral part of the School of Pharmacy curriculum, serving as a museum/laboratory for the students, faculty, and staff.
The collection includes over 12,000 items related to the history of the pharmacy profession. Major classification categories include: art, scale balances, books, collectibles, containers, drugstore items, furniture, laboratory glassware, medical items, medications, mortars/pestles, show globes and other pharmacy tools of the trade. Artifacts and other items have been donated by more than 150 donors from Texas as well as other states.
The artifact and library reference collections are available for research. Arrangements must be made in advance due to our limited hours of operation. Cataloging is in progress, but our object records are not yet complete. The library reference collection has two components: pharmacy history and collection reference (e.g., bottles, drug store collectibles, etc.). Work space is available for research use.
Guided tours of the galleries are available during regular hours and by request. No admission fee is charged.
A series of exhibit cases located in the public hallway outside the permanent galleries and on the first floor are changed periodically.
Access: General Public, Students, Scholars
Appointment required: No
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