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Prescriptions and practice in Prescott, Arizona: medicine in the 1920s and 1930s

Kroll, Thomas Robert (2022) Prescriptions and practice in Prescott, Arizona: medicine in the 1920s and 1930s. Masters thesis, Northern Arizona University.

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Using prescription records from the Owl Drug and Candy Store and the United States Public Health Service (USPHS) Hospital #20 in Prescott, Arizona, I compare the therapies prescribed by physicians in Prescott to national and international trends in medicine. I produced a catalog of the drugs used, based on these prescription slips, and created a guide for the dates when the most popular drugs from Prescott were developed and popularized nationally. This allowed me to compare the state of medicine in Prescott in the early twentieth century to the state of medicine in the United States at large. Between the 1920s and 1930s, physicians in Prescott, Arizona followed national and global trends in medicine, staying at the cutting-edge of medical practice. Prescott attracted physicians trained in regular, or orthodox, medicine, as well as homeopathic doctors. Physicians from both schools appeared to have mutual respect in Prescott and prescribed similar therapies to their patients. Prescott pharmacies provided drugs to patients which chemical manufacturers developed only a few years before. The Owl Drug and Candy Store provided iron and thiamine tonics to patients in the earliest days of the vitamin theory, with prescriptions dating to 1936, the same year as the first synthesis of thiamine (Carpenter 2000:113). Acetylsalicylic acid (ASA), or aspirin, gained prominence among physicians in Prescott by 1921, concurrent with the rest of the world (McTavish 1987:337). Bromides remained popular in Prescott into the 1930s, despite the availability of barbiturates, which became the dominant seizure medication globally (López-Muñoz, Ucha-Udabe, and Alamo 2005:337). However, barbiturate use increased in Prescott as well. Doctors prescribed barbiturates to patients within two years of the development of the drugs. Two barbiturates, Seconal and Evipal were introduced to the market in 1934 and in use therapeutically in Prescott by 1936.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Publisher’s Statement: © Copyright is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the Cline Library, Northern Arizona University. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Keywords: Prescott (Ariz.); Historical Archaeology; history of medicine; medicine; prescriptions; Southwest anthropology;
Subjects: R Medicine > RS Pharmacy and materia medica
NAU Depositing Author Academic Status: Student
Department/Unit: Graduate College > Theses and Dissertations
College of Social and Behavioral Science > Anthropology
Date Deposited: 22 May 2023 21:29
Last Modified: 22 May 2023 21:29
URI: https://openknowledge.nau.edu/id/eprint/5893

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