Home » October 2019 » Currently Reading:

Early chemists of South Wairarapa to feature in new book

October 14, 2019 October 2019 No Comments

A medicine bottle from Valentine’s Martinborough Pharmacy. Photo courtesy Adam Simpson

By Mark Pacey of the Wairarapa Archive
markp@library.mstn.govt.nz

An idea to catalogue all the old glass bottles with the names of Wairarapa chemists on them soon developed into something more.

It was going to be a basic booklet of photos and drawings, but what about the history of the businesses themselves? It was well worth the effort to find out about these shops and those that ran them. 

But not all shops had bottles with their names on them so it was also decided to find out who the first chemists were in each of the Wairarapa towns and write about them too. What began as a simple catalogue was now becoming a fully-fledged history book.

Daniel Keir was the first chemist in the South Wairarapa region, setting up his shop in Featherston in 1880. He was in business just six years before selling to William Fife. 35 years and six owners later the business was now in the hands of Thomas Ernest Lang and continues to this day under the name of Lang’s Pharmacy.

Martinborough got its first chemist in the early 1890s when Thomas Frank Valentine set up in town. He in turn sold to Charles Randall Poulter in 1908 and it operated under this name for fifty years. Following the sale of Poulter’s Pharmacy there was a period of eight years where it changed hands no fewer than four times. In 1966 the name was changed to the Martinborough Pharmacy to which it is still known.

Between them, Featherston and Martinborough had 17 different pharmacies over a 140 year period. Three of these will have a detailed history written about them and all will have a brief description of the years of operation and proprietors. The book will also feature a photograph, label or bottle relating to each of the Wairarapa chemist shops.

This is where readers of the Martinborough Star can help. A book is only as good as the material that’s in it. If anyone has anything relating to any of the chemists that were in South Wairarapa or any part of Wairarapa from early photographs and embossed bottles to modern bottles and labels I would be very appreciative if you could contact me.

Comment on this Article:

Sports

Martinborough Junior Hockey – 2019 Results and Prizegiving

Our 1st XI team came so close to victory in their final of the A-grade competition against rivals, MIS Falcons.  Martinborough scored an early goal in the first half of the game and held their defence until MIS scored a late goal in the final 3 minutes to draw 1-1 …

Kahutara School Hockey Wrap-up

Kahutara School managed to enter a total of three teams in various Wairarapa Hockey Association junior grades played at Clareville Hockey Stadium this season, a mean feat for a school of our size.  The Kahutara Blue team played Tuesday nights in the 6 Aside quarter field grade. The team did …

Junior Rugby

Our 2019 JAB season has come to an end, we have had an another amazing season with some awesome results. 2019 saw MRFC have around 75 registered players each year our numbers continue to grow and we have some huge things in the pipeline for 2020. Congratulations to all players …

Regular Features

Letters

Plenty of issues Our current mayor seems to think the council had a hand in …

Did you know

‘YOU WILL NEVER reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog …

Cooking corner – Potato rendang

INGREDIENTS 8 small potatoes, coarsely chopped 1/4 cup vegetable oil 1 onion, finely chopped 185 …

Know your town – Soldiers’ Memorial Park

Originally the Square was called Martin Square and the North – South and East – …

 Community Garden News

“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” Margaret …

News from Wharekaka

The AGM was held on 19 September.  Attendees heard that Wharekaka is in good heart …

Under The Martinborough Stars

Take a look up tonight and you’ll see a sparkling silver band of stars dominating …

Recent Comments