A vintage pharmacy relic on University Place

whitneychemistsscaleHere’s something you won’t find at Duane Reade or Rite-Aid: an old-fashioned pharmacy scale.

This relic of old New York’s neighborhood drugstores can be found just inside the entrance of Whitney Chemists on University Place off Ninth Street.

It’s a packed-to-the-gills pharmacy time machine and one of the city’s rapidly disappearing independent drugstores.

And where was the scale—now weathered and a little beat up—manufactured? Brooklyn USA is stamped beside the 250 lb. mark.


The Detecto Scale Company began producing medical scales in 1900 in Williamsburg, but how old this one is and how long it’s held court just inside the 50-year-old pharmacy entrance is a mystery.


The one thing I forgot to check: if the scale actually works!

[Third photo: Yelp]

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5 Responses to “A vintage pharmacy relic on University Place”

  1. John Lynch Says:

    I used to use that scale back in the 80s when I lived at Weinstein dorm and then for a few years after. I went in not too long ago and saw it, and tried to use it but it didn’t work anymore. Maybe it can be repaired.

  2. Jeff Says:

    You have gotten me more interested in the buildings of old New York and I’m trying to peer around the edges of the last photograph to see the rest of the adornments on this one.

  3. Dymoon Says:

    I agree with Jeff, nice find…

  4. ephemeralnewyork Says:

    Glad you both liked it! If only they had a wooden phone booth as well…

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