Since many African Americans treated themselves at home, pharmacists were especially important to health care. In 1919 Harry Reid opened his pharmacy, first called Bacchus & Reid, on Fifth Street in Lynchburg. By 1930 there were twenty-one black drugstores in Virginia; Dr. Reid’s store, “attractive, neat, and well stocked,” was one of the most successful in the state.
Other African American drugstores in Lynchburg between 1900 and 1945 included Climax Pharmacy, Piedmont Pharmacy, Jones-Payne Drug Company, Palace Remedy Company, Payne Drug Company, and Fifth Street Pharmacy.
Donated by Gloria Franklin
Medicine Bottle from Reid’s Pharmacy
Harry Reid, often called “Dr. Reid,” mixed and labeled many of his own medicines. This bottle contained “Nostrilin,” which was described as “A Nasal Medication for Symptomatic relief in simple Head Colds.” African American traditions of self-treatment reflected fatalism about illness and suspicion of establishment medicine, as well as cultural practices rooted in Africa.
Donated by Nancy Weigand
Harry Reid Preparing to Make Deliveries, c. 1940
The sight of “Dr. Reid” on his motorcycle was familiar not only on Fifth Street but in other Lynchburg neighborhoods as well.