Tag Archives: Mauston Drug Store

The History of Pharmacy by Artist Robert Thom

During his nearly six decades as a pharmacist, Carl F. Hanneman got to know a lot of people. He forged good relationships with the many sales reps who called on him at the Mauston Drug Store. Some came to dinner at the Hanneman home, and a few even stayed at the house while in town. One of the long-lasting perks he received from Parke, Davis and Company was a stunning set of lithographs depicting the history of pharmacy. More than 30 prints still exist from Carl’s 1950s collection.

Parke-Davis commissioned artist Robert Thom to produce 40 illustrations for the series, “A History of Pharmacy in Pictures.” Each print came with a history article that explained the depicted scene and its place in history. Launched in 1957, the series was developed in cooperation with the Institute for the History of Pharmacy at the University of Wisconsin. Druggists were encouraged to display the artwork in their stores.

The series depicted such early topics as scientist Galen in the second century to later developments such as chemotherapy, antibiotics and pharmaceutical research. Parke Davis also commissioned Thom to paint a series of illustrations on the history of medicine. Thom (1915-1979) was well known as an illustrator of historical subjects, including great moments in baseball and the history of Illinois and Michigan.

The paintings from Carl Hanneman’s collection are in the gallery below, including the explanatory text from each image.

— This post has been updated with additional Thom paintings.

‘Pestle and Mortar’ Carl Hanneman Passes the Pill-Counting Test

In the first half of the 20th century, druggists in America were often called on to literally fill prescriptions, placing medications into gelatin capsules and then counting out the order. Mauston pharmacist Carl F. Hanneman was very efficient at the task. Maybe too much so, opined The Mauston Star in a rather humorous article in December 1953.

“Joe Dziewior and this muser, watching ‘pestle and mortar’ Carl Hanneman throw a prescription together the other evening, now know why pill or capsule counting machines not not necessary to the registered pharmacist,” read the article on December 11, 1953. “With bottle in hand, Carl was pouring capsules into his hands and counting them faster than an adding machine.” 

Carl F. Hanneman taking his suits to the cleaner at Janesville, Wis., on April 5, 1926. Carl and his wife, Ruby V. Hanneman, were on their way to dinner. Carl was a druggist at McCue & Buss Drug Co. at the time.
Carl F. Hanneman taking his suits to the cleaner at Janesville, Wis., on April 5, 1926. Carl and his wife, Ruby V. Hanneman, were on their way to dinner. Carl was a druggist at McCue & Buss Drug Co. at the time. He later moved to Mauston, Wis.

Carl was the registered pharmacist at the Mauston Drug Store on Division Street in Mauston. He had been the druggist there since moving his young family to Mauston in 1936 from Wisconsin Rapids. A graduate of Marquette University, Carl started as an assistant pharmacist, but obtained his full registered pharmacist license in the 1940s.

“After watching him for some time, we entertained a doubt as to the accuracy of the counts and Joe was inclined to agree with us,” the article continued. “But Carl said he could count pills time on end and whistle a tune at the same time, and still come out the a correct count. ‘Come, come, Carl!’ we exclaimed. ‘Isn’t that pulling our leg a bit?'”

Judging by these vials from McCue & Buss Drug Co., registered pharmacists packaged both pre-made pills and medicine capsules.
Judging by Carl F. Hanneman’s vials from McCue & Buss Drug Co., registered pharmacists packaged both pre-made pills and medicine capsules.

Carl told the men a story of a “kindly old lady” who regularly came in for prescriptions and doubted the counts doled out by the druggist. “It never failed, but that after we wrapped up her prescription, she’d sit in the chair out there, undo the package and count the pills in the box,” Hanneman said. “To this day, she hasn’t demanded a recount!”

The article concluded: “Maybe registered pharmacists should be made ballot clerks. Recounts wouldn’t be necessary!”

©2014 The Hanneman Archive
Family Line: Carl F. Hanneman >> David D. Hanneman, Donn G. Hanneman and Lavonne M. (Hanneman) Wellman

Carl Hanneman Documents Fire of the Century at Mauston

It was the fire of the century in the tiny city of Mauston, Wisconsin. Life may have started normally on Friday, Jan. 5, 1945, but before 9 a.m. a massive fire broke out that threatened to wipe out the city’s downtown. The man called on to document the blaze for local law enforcement was Carl F. Hanneman, the druggist at the Mauston Drug Store. It may have been the most prominent collection of photos he shot, but was just one among many accidents, fires and crime scenes he photographed over the years.

Carl would have been readying himself for the trip to the pharmacy downtown when the fire broke out that January morning. About  8:30 a.m. the fire started in the rear of the Gamble Stores building along the north side of State Street. Within 30 minutes it had spread to four downtown buildings and threatened the entire business district.Mauston Fire 1

As firefighters from Mauston tried in vain to control the blaze in subzero temperatures, reinforcements from fire departments in Lyndon, New Lisbon and Wisconsin Dells raced to help. Carl stood just behind the line of rescue  workers and took photos.

It took five hours to control the huge blaze, which destroyed Gamble’s, Mauston Press Club dry cleaners, Samisch Bakery, the Fred Denzien barber shop and the All-Star restaurant. At one point during the blaze, the brick facade of the All-Star fell onto the street. Nearby businesses, including Vorlo Drug and Coast to Coast, were badly burned. Damage exceeded $80,000 – equivalent to more than $1 million in 2014 dollars. Mauston Fire Chief John Smith said calm winds kept the fire from sweeping through the entire downtown.

The extreme heat from the fire is evident along the roof line.
The extreme heat from the fire is evident along the roof line.

Carl’s efforts that day earned him a page 1 photo in the Wisconsin State Journal, and two additional photos on page 11. He served as a Mauston correspondent for The State Journal for many years, garnering numerous front-page stories and photographs.

Carl dated and signed the prints from the Mauston fire in January 1945.
Carl dated and signed the prints from the Mauston fire in January 1945.

Carl documented many local emergencies in Mauston and surrounding areas. He captured the moment when a semi-trailer plowed into the front of the Tourist Hotel, knocking down the sign and collapsing the awning. Many of these photographs have a custom “CF Hanneman” imprint on the back, so it’s obvious Carl shot a fair number of news  photos. Some photos from the 1945 fire have even shown up on Ebay.

David D. Hanneman stands on State Street in front of the charred ruins from the 1945 Mauston fire.
David D. Hanneman stands on State Street in front of the charred ruins.
David D. Hanneman and his younger sister, Lavonne, survey damage from the 1945 Mauston fire.
David D. Hanneman and his younger sister, Lavonne, survey damage.
By summer 1945, the fire debris was gone and rebuilding was in process.
By summer 1945, the fire debris was gone and rebuilding was in process.