Historical Albion Michigan
By Frank Passic

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Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.


Morning Star, January 27, 2019, pg. 7

Albion once had numerous drug stores; many of them were located in the downtown area. Today of course we are down to just one drugstore downtown. One place where drugstores were located in the early 20th century was in the Maher Block on the west side of N. Superior St. This is the building which today contains Stirling Books & Brew at 119 N. Superior St., and its "overflow" north side at 121 N. Superior St.

Victor Roussin operated his drug store at 121 N. Superior St. in the early 1920s. He boarded at 302 S. Huron St., according to the 1923-24 Albion City Directory, and at 109 W. Pine St. in the 1926 directory.

Back then, drugstores were a type of office-supply store, too. It was at drugstores that you purchased stationery, writing supplies, ink (no, not computer printer ink, but real ink), and books. People wrote with fountain pens, which meant you had to purchase fountain ink. One well-known nationwide brand of fountain ink of course was Carter's Ink. Roussin's Drug Store carried this brand.

To help keep the ink from flowing over everything as you wrote, ink blotters were used to thin the ink out to allow you to write legibly. Often these ink blotters contained advertising of a local merchant. I've seen several of these bearing the names of Albion merchants in the early 20th century.

From our Historical Notebook this week we present an advertising ink blotter from Roussin's Drug Store. The colorful artwork and text were provided by the Carter Ink Company. The text features a uniformed usher holding a piece of paper declaring "Call for Carter's." The illustration depicts ten men dressed in their native garb from countries around the world, delivering their raw materials into the Carter Ink Company headquarter building for processing. The text continues, "Raw materials are brought from all parts of the world. Carter Ink Products." This multi-national, multi-ethnic illustration is really appropriate for Albion because of our wide variety of diversity found here.

Roussin Drug Store Ink Blotter early 1920s, Albion

Next: Albion 100 Years Ago - FEBRUARY 1919

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