Coit Museum of Pharmacy and Health Sciences – Tucson, Arizona - Atlas Obscura

Coit Museum of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

An Arizona museum with a collection of pharmaceutical oddities, including a jar of a gangster's chewed gum.  


Renamed the Coit Museum of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in 2022, the museum has been a well-kept secret at the University of Arizona. Its unique collection documents the pharmacy profession from the 19th and 20th centuries, complete with thousands of medical curiosities. 

In 1966, the museum opened in the UA College of Pharmacy, which was less than 20 years old at the time. Former State Board Inspector Jesse Hurlbut had amassed a collection of thousands of items from drugstores all over Arizona. After he retired, he donated them to the school to found a small museum. For the last half-century, the museum has continued to grow as it celebrates and preserves the rich history of the practice of pharmacy.

The museum features a fascinating collection from the Upjohn Pharmacy in Disneyland, a full-scale replica of an old-time drugstore, and a jar of gangster John Dillinger’s chewed gum. In addition to its new dedicated space in room 260 of the Skaggs Pharmaceutical Sciences building, its exhibits extend throughout the College of Pharmacy, in both the Skaggs and Drachman Hall buildings. 

Know Before You Go

Museum hours are Tuesday through Friday, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.

The museum is located in room 260 of the Skaggs Pharmaceutical Sciences Center, with the front entrance located off the Hippocrates and Coit courtyard. There is free museum parking available on the north side of Drachman Street, just east of Cherry Avenue, in the reserved museum spaces. 

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