A collection of pharmacy items is the current Community ArtShare exhibit at T.B. Scott Free Library. The items, selected from a large collection owned by Robbie Johnson, proprietor of Johnson Pharmacy in Merrill, is located on the library’s second floor in the Carnegie Wing.
The exhibit includes pharmaceutical containers (many dispensed from Merrill pharmacies), medicine bottles, books, and mortars & pestles. Poison containers and other unusual items on display recall the remarkable history of medicine. Beautifully ornate metal and glass show globes, which were used in the window of a business to distinguish it as a pharmacy, are a highlight of the collection.
Johnson is a Merrill native and has worked in the pharmacy business since starting at Rexall at age 15. Robbie began to accumulate his extensive collection in the 1970s, when he was in pharmacy school.
The Johnson pharmacy collectibles exhibit can be viewed on the library’s second floor through the month of February. T.B. Scott Free Library’s “Beyond Books: Community ArtShare” features a new exhibit every two months on an ongoing basis. The program was made possible by a $10,000 grant from the Mead Witter Foundation, Inc. of Wisconsin Rapids.