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Putnam Drug Company records

Identifier: MS-871

  • Staff Only


The records of the Putnam Drug Company contain a store ledger, account ledgers, cash books, invoices and receipts, a memorandum of articles of copartnership, poison registers, drug recipe books (prescription journals), an illustrated pharmaceutical company catalog, a drug label catalog, a pharmaceutical association membership certificate, glass druggist bottles, and drug and prescription labels. The collection's recipe books, which make up a majority of the collection, as well as the account books from Lucien Bliss Downing's ownership, partially detail the evolution of one pharmaceutical business in Hanover, NH over a 75-year period, 1851-1926. The recipe books were created under four different ownerships of the drug company and store. Only a small portion of the collection, the last one and one-half recipe books, were actually produced by the drug company while under the ownership of Robert J. Putnam. All of the earlier material was produced by three of the previous five owners of the company, dating back to its founder, Rufus Graves. However, the vast majority of the records were produced under the ownership of Lucien B. “Deacon” Downing. The recipe book entries detail the types of medications dispensed for various medical conditions over the years. They also indicate the many residents and families of Hanover and the local area that frequented the drug company during its long existence. Downing's account ledgers also detail who patronized the business on a regular basis during his ownership. The ledger of the founder of the business, Rufus Graves, sheds some light on the goings-on of a mercantile business for the time period it covers, the early to mid 1790s.


  • 1795 - 1950


Conditions Governing Access


Conditions Governing Use

Permission from Dartmouth College required for publication or reproduction.


38 linear ft. (28 boxes)

Language of Materials


Additional Description


Putnam Drug Company (1793-1982). The collection contains prescription journals ("Recipe Books"), account ledgers, cash books, invoices, labels and printed materials related to druggists Lucien Bliss Downing, Dr. James Austin Smith, Rufus Graves, and Dr. Thomas Prentiss Hill.

Part of the Rauner Library Archives and Manuscripts Repository

6065 Webster Hall
Hanover NH 03755 USA

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