American Institute of the History of Pharmacy

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Preserving Pharmacy's Heritage Since 1941

AIHP Mourns the Passing of Alice Jean Matuszak

Alice Jean MatuszakAIHP recently learned of the passing of Alice Jean Matuszak, a longtime member and former AIHP President. Dr. Matuszak was professor emerita of pharmaceutics and medicinal chemistry at the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy. She passed away in January at the age of 85.

Dr. Matuszak became an AIHP member in 1966 and maintained her membership for more than 50 years. In addition to serving as the Institute’s President from 1997 to 1999, she also was a member of the AIHP Council, a member of the AIHP Executive Committee, and Chair of the Section of Contributed Papers. She received an AIHP Certificate of Commendation in 1990.

AIHP’s current President, W. Clarke Ridgway, remembered Dr. Matuszak as “a warm, gentle soul who contributed much to the history of pharmacy through her many articles and presentations on the history of California pharmacy.” He also cited her role in the formation of the Don and June Salvatori California Pharmacy Museum, in Sacramento, California.

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AIHP Awards 2021 PhD Research Support Grants

2021 AIHP PhD Research Grant Recipients

AIHP Historical Director Dr. Lucas Richert has announced the awarding of two AIHP PhD Research Support Grants for 2021 to Miriam F. Lipton, a PhD candidate at Oregon State University, and to Taylor Serota Bell, a PhD candidate at the University of California, Davis. Each received $2,000 to fund continued research for their dissertations.

Ms. Lipton is writing her dissertation currently entitled “Bacteriophages and Antibiotics: The History of Cold War Politics of Antibiotic Resistance,” and Ms. Bell is writing her dissertation currently entitled “Pharmaceutical Austerity and the Mobilization of Social Networks.”  

The AIHP PhD Research Support Grant Program is designed to provide financial support for doctoral students pursuing academic research related to the broadly defined history of pharmacy and pharmaceuticals. The Program offers grants up to $2,000 to cover research expenses not normally covered by the student’s university. Recipients of the grant must provide a report to AIHP on the research within one year after receiving the grant money. Grant recipients must also agree to submit a paper based on their thesis project or dissertation for consideration for publication in AIHP’s journal, History of Pharmacy and Pharmaceuticals, within two years of receiving the grant.

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“Buried Alive in a Chemical Tomb”: The Story of the “Trip or Trap” Anti-Drug Playing Card Deck

This post is from Points, the joint blog of AIHP and the Alcohol and Drugs History Society. Points publishes original reflections about the history of drugs, medicines, alcohol, pharmacy, and their allied fields.

Trip or Trap Deck Cards

“This Trip or Trap Card Deck is an attempt to educate through facts and ridicule,” wrote public health advocate Dr. Wayman Rutherford Spence about his anti-drug set of novelty playing cards. Published in 1970 by his business, the Spenco Medical Company, the “Trip or Trap” deck was one of many quirky Spenco products that combined humor with pop culture ephemera to educate the public about the dangers of drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and other intoxicants.

The “Trip or Trap” deck adopted a prohibitionist attitude towards drugs, demonized the recreational use of intoxicating substances, and denied the legitimate medical or pharmaceutical use of drugs like cannabis.

The “Trip or Trap” playing card deck is one of several hundred pharmacy-themed playing cards in the Donald Brodeur Playing Card Collection at the American Institute of the History of Pharmacy. This post is a short investigation into the story behind the “Trip or Trap” deck and its creator Wayman R. Spence, a now mostly forgotten drug warrior and public heath advocate.

Read the rest of this post by AIHP Assistant Director Greg Bond on Points.

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2021 Summer Kreminar—Opiates & Opioids

Kreminar Twitter Card

Mark your calendars for the 2021 Edward Kremers Seminar in the History of Pharmacy & Drugs. The Summer 2021 “Kreminar” explores the theme of Opiates & Opioids and will feature six virtual seminars, presentations, and discussions by scholars and practitioners researching and writing about the history and the contemporary status of opiates, opioids, and addiction.

The Summer 2021 Kreminar will consist of streaming online Zoom presentations from 1:00–2:30 Eastern time (12:00–1:30 Central time) on six consecutive Thursdays in May or June. Kreminar presenters will be Dr. Benjamin Breen (May 13th), Dr. Diana S. Kim (May 20th), Dr. Daniel Skinner with Kerri Mongenel (May 27th), Dr. Nancy Campbell and Dr. David Herzberg (June 3rd), Dr. James Bradford (June 10th), and Maia Szalavitz (June 17th).

AIHP is pleased to co-sponsor the 2021 Summer Kreminar with:

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AIHP Opens Online Historical Exhibit

1901 New York Quinine advertismentAIHP is pleased to announce the opening of the online historical exhibit, “The Misappropriation of Native/Indigenous Imagery in Pharmaceutical Advertising.” Composed mostly of images and artifacts from the joint collection of AIHP and the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Pharmacy, the virtual exhibit documents how drug companies and pharmaceutical manufacturers have misappropriated Native and Indigenous imagery, customs, and beliefs to market their products—particularly during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

The online exhibit is part the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Our Shared Future initiative that seeks to educate the campus and the broader community about the University’s complicated and difficult history with the Ho-Chunk Nation, on whose ancestral land the campus is located. The University is sponsoring a variety of educational activities to spark learning and deepen understanding about the Ho-Chunk Nation and other regional Indigenous history and culture. AIHP is located on the UW–Madison campus.

As the exhibit discusses, Indigenous peoples in North America have long used medicinal plants and botanicals to treat illnesses and diseases. White American society adopted some native plants for therapeutic purposes and also came to strongly associate medicinal plants and natural medicines with Indigenous cultures. Drug companies and pharmaceutical manufacturers, in turn, capitalized on these beliefs and co-opted Native and Indigenous imagery and iconography to market drugs and medicines containing plants and natural products.


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Call for Proposals: ISHP 2022 Fellowship Grant

ISHP LogoThe International Society for the History of Pharmacy (ISHP) has issued a call for proposals for its 2022 ISHP Fellowship Grant. The €2,500 grant (approximately $3,000) seeks to support pharmaceutical history research of international relevance. The deadline for receipt of proposals is August 31, 2021.

A proposal must include:

  • a detailed description of the research project (which is usually but not necessarily done at an academic institution);
  • a detailed discussion of the project’s relevance in terms of internationality;
  • the curriculum vitae of the applicant;
  • confirmation that the applicant is a member of one of ISHP’s member societies;
  • a list of former research projects and publications of the applicant;
  • a letter of recommendation from a senior academic teacher; and
  • a detailed list of expenses expected (i.e. costs for traveling, obtaining literature etc.).

A committee comprised of the ISHP President, the ISHP General Secretary and three distinguished researchers in the field of pharmaceutical history nominated by ISHP’s Select Executive Committee, will judge the proposals.

Proposal (in English) should be sent by email to Prof. Dr. Dušanka Krajnović, ISHP General Secretary, at by August 31, 2021.

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AIHP Thanks National Association Sponsors

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AIHP Wants to Document Your COVID-19 Stories and Experiences

AIHP COVID-19 ProjectThe American Institute of the History of Pharmacy is documenting and preserving pharmacy stories and experiences during the COVID-19 global pandemic for the benefit of future historians and scholars. We seek to record the effects of this public health emergency on all types of pharmacy experiences. We invite you to share your pharmacy stories, photos, videos, artifacts, and other documentation of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

You can participate in the AIHP COVID-19 Pandemic Pharmacy Historical Documentation Project either (1) by immediately sharing your thoughts/experiences and/or submitting digital materials or (2) by signifying your to intention to submit materials in the future. Please comply with all applicable local or state stay-at-home orders while self-documenting.

Please click the link below to learn more about participating in the AIHP COVID-19 Pandemic Pharmacy Historical Documentation Project.

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Join AIHP and Subscribe to History of Pharmacy and Pharmaceuticals

  • Individual Subscription For $80/year ($100/foreign)

  • Institutional/Corporate subscription For $160/year ($180/foreign)

  • Pharmacy Education Fund (Schools or College of Pharmacy) For $330/year

Access the Pharmacy in History JSTOR Archive
All past issues of Pharmacy in History have been digitized and are text-searchable at JSTOR.

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Calendar of Events

Upcoming events of interest to historians of pharmacy, pharmaceuticals, medicines, science, and related fields. (Event information current when posted. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, please double-check the status of all events): 

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