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Between the Wars (1920-1940)

Frederick Hooper's Apothecary Sign

Hooper's Apothecary Trade Sign

Frederick Hooper's Apothecary Sign, one of the first electric signs in Napanee

Frederick Louis Hooper was born November 12, 1872, in the village of Newburgh. His father, Douglas, was a merchant, born in New Brunswick and of English descent. His mother was Caroline Daly. One of eight children, Fredrick began his trade as an apothecary at an early age. On the 1891 Canada Census, at the age of 19, Frederick was still living at home. His occupation was listed as "Drugs." DISCOVER MOREReadmore Arrow

Since the 1860's, pharmacy education in Ontario had consisted of a few evenings of voluntary classes and a long apprenticeship. Prior to the 1880's in Ontario there was no formal school of pharmacy and periods of apprenticeship of up to four years in length were a prerequisite for admission. In 1882, the Ontario College of Pharmacy began operating.

Hooper's early education at Newburgh High School introduced him to the classical languages. He graduated from the Ontario College of Pharmacy in 1895. Latin, in full or abbreviated, was used for prescription drug names and instructions, on labels of stock bottles, as well as in pharmacopoeias, formularies, and reference books. Hooper trained before the first Canadian Formulary (1905) had been published and while a British Pharmacopoeia, published in 1864, was still in use.

In 1902, Fredrick and his older brother Samuel leased the building at the south-east corner of Centre & Dundas from William Detlor, a fellow druggist, for the sum of $400 a year. Likely, Hooper apprenticed with Detlor before leasing the building. A photograph of the interior of Hooper's from this period shows the wide variety of items available in an early twentieth century drug store. Mr. Hooper is standing behind the left counter.

After several years, Frederick purchased the pharmacy building from William Detlor for $10,000. In 1920, a mortgage was extended to Frederick and Maud for the west part of the block. A 1928 Napanee postcard shows the Hooper store in a streetscape looking east at the corner of Dundas and Centre Streets. Mounted above the storefront sign reading, "Fred L. Hooper" is the mortar and pestle trade sign. The mortar and pestle, used in pharmacies to crush ingredients for prescriptions, is an iconic symbol of pharmacology. Hooper's sign was reputed to be one of the first electric trade signs in downtown Napanee. The Hooper store also issued its own Merchants Bond to patrons desiring a store discount of one cent per cash purchase.

Mr. Hooper retired in 1935.

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