History of Pharmacy Museum – Tucson, Arizona - Atlas Obscura

History of Pharmacy Museum

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


The History of Pharmacy Museum is 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. Its exhibits are laid out throughout the College of Pharmacy, in both the Skaggs and Drachman buildings. 

Know Before You Go

The museum is housed in two buildings, and does not have a "front door." Visitors can arrange a free guided tour with the curator by calling 520-626-1042.

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