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Whalen's Drug Store


Whalen’s Drug Store on Millinocket’s Penobscot Avenue was started by E. J. Warren. Many photos of that street in the early days show this business and its sign. At first, the drug store was located nearer Central St. in the building that some remember as Chapman’s Store. For most of its history, Whalen’s (incorporated in 1921) was situated in the building most remember as Wilson’s Jewelry (now empty).

A 1946 copy of The Millinocket Journal featured Whalen’s in one of its “throwback” articles. At that time, a Mr. Thomas Boyd was the owner having arrived from Eastport 21 years previously (soon after the store opened). Boyd worked as the registered pharmacist for many years before becoming manager in 1928 and then owner in 1941.

The 1946 article states that it was a Rexall drug store and was noted for its monthly special sales especially the famous One Cent Sale in the spring and fall. In addition to a complete line of Rexall products, the store carried for the ladies Evening in Paris, Max Factor cosmetics and Wrisley’s toiletries. You could purchase a Zenith hearing aid, a Parker pen or an Eversharp pencil.

For the children, there were 5 cent chocolate bars. And Whalen’s had a soda fountain (a mainstay in most drug stores of the time). It carried all flavors of ice cream and sauces and had a special of the month ice cream. Comfortable booths were an added attraction. Other sweet things for sale included assortments of boxed chocolates and the newly added Double Kay Nut Bar.

In the prescription department, Whalen’s offered “cut-rate” prices and your prescription was available twenty-four hours a day including delivery. A line of hospital accessories that could be purchased included bedpans, hot water bottles, thermometers, nurse’s charts and more.

The 1946 article ended with the reminder that with Christmas nearing, a full line of leather goods was available for gift giving … billfolds, cigarette cases, travelling cases and a special package for the ladies in a zipper bag containing not only cosmetics but a pair of nylon hosiery.

The museum has several views of Penobscot Ave showing Whalen’s Drug Store. On display at the museum is a medicine bottle (clear glass with Whalen’s Drug showing on the glass). Medicine bottles from several early druggists are on display.


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