Saturday, August 11, 2012

Bygone Business: Schoolcraft Drug Store

Photo courtesy of Swords Family Archive
A pharmacy business has been located in the Opera House block on the southeast corner of Fourth and Main streets continuously since the building was opened in 1890. One of those pharmacies was the Schoolcraft Drug Store, operated by Zeno Schoolcraft from 1928 to 1948.  The photo shown here was taken in 1947, just a year before Schoolcraft sold the business to T. Kenneth Fetters.

The Schoolcraft Drug Store featured a soda fountain, as was common at the time.  A story in the Rochester Clarion from the issue of June 1, 1928 tells us that Schoolcraft's fountain offered a superior malted milk concoction that was far better than what could be had elsewhere; the newspaper reported that visitors from across the region were stopping in at the Rochester store in hopes of discovering the secret recipe of Zeno Schoolcraft's malted milk beverage.

In addition to developing a popular malted milk recipe, Zeno Schoolcraft invented two devices that were granted United States patents. Both item were designed to be of interest to merchants: one was a shelf label holder, and the other was a display box for confectionary products.

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