Summer 2023 Kreminar: Highlighting Our Homebase: Stories from the AIHP/UWSoP Historical Collections

2023 Kreminar Series: Highlighting Our Homebase: Stories from the AIHP/UWSoP Historical Collections

June 15th: Come On In, The Water’s Fine!: A Brief History of Healing Springs and Medical Tourism with Hannah Rose Swan

Geothermal baths and healing springs have a millenia-spanning history of medical tourism, from the ancient Roman baths to the spas of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, considered to be the golden age of the so-called “water cure”. Many scholars, in fact, see the rise of leisure travel as directly related to the popularity of “taking the waters” for one’s health. Drawing upon ephemera from locales as diverse as Manitou, Colorado and the Hunyadi Springs of Budapest, Hungary, I will explore the origins of the modern spa vacation, as well as the often fantastical medical claims made by the doctors who staffed these institutions. Advertising booklets and broadsides for healing springs and geothermal baths will inform my discussion of the history of medical tourism, while pharmaceutical ephemera extolling the benefits of water will contextualize the medical field of so-called hydropathy.

Thursday, June 15
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

June 22nd: Stories of Chinese Students in the American Institute of the History of Pharmacy: A tale of success and exchange with JJ Reynolds-Strange

In the early 20th Century, the UW-Madison School of Pharmacy had a small contingent of Chinese students who worked on traditional Chinese medicine, researching the plants that had been used for thousands of years. In their effort, the Chinese students brought their knowledge of medicine to American pharmaceutical research. This was not just a project for graduate-level research but also to relocate Chinese medicine as a significant player in the production of western medicine.

Thursday, June 22
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

June 1st: Accessing the History of Health, Pharmacy, and Medicines in Madison with Dr. Lucas Richert

Recent events as diverse as America’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the opioid crisis, the anti-vaccine movement, the debate over the legalization and regulation of marijuana and other personal use drugs, struggles over drug prices and accessibility, among others, all have roots in the history of pharmacy, pharmaceuticals, drugs, medicines, and healthcare. The wide-ranging public debates about these topics vividly demonstrate the vital importance of grounding contemporary public health discussions in a clear understanding of their relevant histories — and in evidence.

This talk, the first part of the Summer 2023 Kreminar series, will showcase ongoing collections activities at the American Institute of the History of Pharmacy and UW-Madison SoP, including NEH and UW funded projects. The talk will also introduce important smaller collections and recent initiatives that will be featured in future episodes of the 2023 Kreminar.

Thursday, June 1
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
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June 8th: “What is the Soft Drug Problem?”: Gatekeeping, Pharmacist Authority, and the Pharmaceutical Industry, 1950-1975 with Dr. Lucas Richert & Gabriel Lake Carter

In light of contemporary court cases about the legal and ethical responsibility of pharmaceutical companies and pharmacy chains to protect patients and consumers from psychoactive and intoxicating substances, this Kreminar highlights the internal debates between pharmacists about their need to balance profits with public health concerns related to so-called “dangerous drugs” and “magic bullets.” More specifically, this talk will present archival documents from approximately 1950 to 1975 in the United States, including a collection of posters by Frank Pinchak, documents from the American Pharmaceutical Association regarding the 1962 Remington Honor Medal that was given to Harry Anslinger, and a 1974 consumer manual on “Soft Drugs” that was published by the Pharmacists’ Society of Milwaukee County. Utilizing such primary documents from the AIHP-UWSoP, this Kreminar covers the discussions between pharmacists about the construction of their authority in the medical marketplace, the gatekeeping efforts of the pharmacist as part of the pharmaceutical industry, and the marketing of drugs that cross between medicinal and recreational contexts, such as opium and various opiates. These topics and concerns, put simply, grapple with the role of pharmacists and the pharmaceutical industry in harm reduction (broadly construed). While harm reduction, as a political movement and public health policy, did not begin to take shape until the late twentieth century, the debates between pharmacists throughout the early- and mid-twentieth century in the United States showcase a concern about the commodification, franchising, and profit-motives of the pharmaceutical industry.

Thursday, June 8
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

This event has passed. Link to Recording:

Actively engaged in preserving the documents of pharmacy's past and developing materials for understanding the future.

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

Note: Academic libraries seeking subscriptions to History of Pharmacy and Pharmaceuticals should directly contact the University of Wisconsin Press.

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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):

May 28-31, 2024: Kremers Seminar in the History of Pharmacy webinars.
June 27-30, 2024: ADHS Biennial Conference, Buffalo, NY.
July 7-11, 2024: International Social Pharmacy Workshop, Banff, Canada.
September 4-7, 2024: 46th International Congress for the History of Pharmacy, Belgrade Serbia.
January 3-6, 2025: Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association, New York City, NY.

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