Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.
Morning Star, March 26, 2017, pg. 10
Occasionally in this column Iíll feature an old Albion dairy bottle. This time Iíd like to feature a bottle but with a different type of business: A drugstore. The business was called the North Side Drug Store and it was located at todayís 121 N. Superior St., although it is listed as 119 in its directory listings. This is because 119 used to take up two sections. Today this is a vacant storefront wedged in between Books and More, and the Albion Barbell Club.
It was owned and operated by Archibald "Archie" J. Miller, who is listed locally only in the 1906-1907 Albion City Directory. No wife or kids are listed with him, giving us the assumption that he was still single at the time. He is shown rooming at the same address, meaning he stayed in the upstairs apartment above the store. The Michigan Gazetteers lists Archibald only in the 1907-08 and 1909-10 editions. The 1909 Albion City Directory lists the business but Mr. Millerís name is missing. Back then there were several drugstores in Albion, and competition must have been stiff. Other druggists at the time were Homer Blair, Bruce F. Kinmont, E. L. Moore, and Hadley H. Sheldon.
An advertisement from the 1906-7 Albion City Directory stated, "Trade at the North Side Drug Store. Headquarters for Pure Drugs, Sundries, Patent Medicines, Toilet Articles, Perfumes, School Supplies and Stationery. The compounding of Physiciansí Prescriptions and Family Recipes given special attention." Obviously he mixed his own concoctions right there in the store, including "family recipes," as the ad stated.
Iím wondering if he was a new pharmacist who started his independent career here. I cannot find any information about him. I wonder where he went to college? He obviously moved away in 1909, and even with his less-common first name along with the initial, he is not listed on Findagrave.
Still, Mr. Miller has left us with an object of a reminder of his few short years in business here in Albion. It is 32 ounce glass bottle which held, letís say, cough syrup, with the contents formulated right there at 119 N. Superior St. It measures 10 ľ inches tall, and is oval shaped in the back, and 3-sided in the front. Molded into the glass are the letters on the front which state, "ARCHIE J. MILLER DRUGGIST ALBION, MICH." Also found here is a round circle with a short cross emblem, and the text, "PURITY, ACCURACY." On the right side in cubic centimeters are numerals starting with 50 at the bottom and ending with 900 at the top. On the left side are ounce numerals starting with 4 at the bottom and ending with 28 at the top. The top of the bottle contains the text, "XXXII," meaning "32 ounces." From our Historical Notebook this week we present that bottle. How many of our readers have unusual Albion bottles such as this one?
Archie Miller Druggist Bottle circa 1907
POSTSCRIPT: Dr. Archie James Miller was born April 30, 1879 in Michigan, and died November 22, 1970 at age 91 in Hendersonville, North Carolina where he is interred in Oakdale Cemetery in Hendersonville. He is listed as a retired pharmacist, drug store. His www.findagrave.com listing memorial number is 115421342.
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