The American Druggist and Pharmaceutical Record
XXXIV, No. 9 (May 10, 1899)
Havana as in the other principal cities of Cuba, the bulk of the business
in drugs, proprietary articles and prescriptions is done in a few of the
larger stores. Of such in
Havana are the pharmacies named “La Reunion,” “El Amparo” and
“San Jose.” (Every Cuban pharmacy has its own distinctive tile.)
Reunion, which is admittedly the prettiest pharmacy in the city of Havana,
belongs to the estate of Don Jose Sarrá.
The establishment is appraised at a valuation of not less that
|Before the war Señor
Sarrá, who conducted the pharmacy, was reputed to be one of the
wealthiest men on the island. This store was established by Don José in
1853 and is a monument to his capacity as a man of business.
It is situated on the south west corner of Teniente-Rey and
Compostela streets, fronting on the first named street.
The pharmacy proper is entered from both streets by means of four
entrance doors. The ceiling
is of unusual altitude, studded with two immense cut-glass, chandeliers,
and the pharmacy presents a very handsome appearance indeed.
Rows of white porcelain pots, lettered in black with a bold scroll,
stand on the shelves facing the street and several fancy, antique jars
lend the air of antiquity and mystery which is supposed to surround the
apothecary. The American soda
fountain is distinguished by its absence.
difficult to purchase any of the better known proprietary medicines in
Havana, though an unending stock of European patents is carried. These goods are not conspicuously displayed.
Instead, a very pretty display of bottles and jars gives the
pharmacy the appearance of one of the old-established places, where
pharmacy is practiced less as a trade than a profession.
The prescription counter extends the entire length of the store,
and is the only counter at which customers stand.
Our correspondent was informed that not more than fifteen or
sixteen prescriptions are put up in a day, but over twenty-eight clerks
are employed, a dozen or more of whom give their attention to the counter.
The educational qualifications are high as a rule, many of the
clerks having been obliged to take the five years’ literary course of
the University of Havana, the last two years of which course are given up
in the case of prospective pharmacists to practical dispensing work.
Thirty dollars per week represent the average stipend of assistant
pharmacists. Spanish dollars,
of course. The clerks are
treated as one of the family and eat at the same table with the
proprietor, and receive board and lodging in addition to a salary.