Nebraska Academy of Sciences


Date of this Version



Published in Transactions of the Nebraska Academy of Sciences, Volume 1 (1972).


Copyright 1972 by the author(s).


More than one hundred prescription files dating from 1916 to 1939 were discovered in the basement of the old Creighton University Pharmacy and Medical Schools previously located at 14th & Davenport Streets in Omaha, Nebraska. An analysis of a group of these prescriptions written in the years 1918 to 1919 was made. Special emphasis has been placed on ingredients, manner in which prescriptions were written, special dose forms, and pharmaceutical processing. The prescriptions written fifty years ago were compared to those written today, and observations were made relating to the comparison.

The Creighton University Medical and Pharmacy Schools were located at 14th & Davenport Streets in Omaha, Nebraska from 1907 until the summer of 1969, when the Pharmacy School was moved to the main campus. During this move, a large number of old prescription files were found in the cellar of the old building. The files were dated from 1917 to 1939. In all there were over one hundred of these old prescription files. The author, who is a member of the American Institute of the History of Pharmacy, was responsible for moving these files to the present Pharmacy School on the main campus of Creighton University. In addition to the old prescription files, a large book in which prescriptions were filed from 4-1-18 to 1-31-19 was also discovered.

An examination of the prescriptions filed over fifty years ago demonstrate dramatically how medication has changed. It is apparent to one who studies these files that the Pharmacist of fifty years ago had to be well versed in the art of Pharmacy. Practically all of the prescriptions required the Pharmacist to apply his skill in creating unique dose forms. The prescriptions also arc valuable in that they demonstrate the many great advances in the medicinals of today, as these are almost completely missing from the medicinal inventory of just fifty years ago.