New Orleans Pharmacy Museum

Tuesday -  Saturday  10am – 4pm

Guided Tours
1pm Tuesday - Friday

Closed on Sunday & Monday 


New Orleans Pharmacy Museum


514 Chartres St.
New Orleans, LA 70130

On December 15, 1937, Mayor Robert S. Maestri purchased the building from the Interstate Trust and Banking Co. in liquidation. Mayor Maestri donated the building to the City of New Orleans in the same year to be used as a "Napoleon Museum". Officials confused the history of 514 Chartres Street with the history of the Nicholas Girod House at 500 Chartres Street. The Girod House was:the home designated for Napoleon's exile escape, not 514 Chartres. Dr. Edward J. Ireland Loyola Professor of Pharmacy dug deeper into the history of the building and relayed his research to the city of New Orleans. When the City officials realized the significance of Louis J. Dufilho, Jr. and of 514 Chartres to the history of American pharmacy, they designated the site to be  tpe New Orleam Pharmacy Museum. 

On December 7, 1943, Mayor Robert S. Maestri appointed and established the official "Historical Phanpacy Commission of the City of New Orleans". John F. McCloskey, a Commission member and Dean of the Loyola School of Pharmacy at that time, was instrumental in the careful accession of pharmacy artifacts and exhibit development for the New Orleans Pharmacy
Museum. Dr. Edward J. Ireland, a Commission member and Loyola University Pharmacy professor, directed Loyola Pharmacy students in the exhibit set-up at the Museum. After some building repairs, the acquisition of artifacts and exhibit set-up, the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum officially opened to the public with a dedication ceremony on October 16, 1950. 
The City of New Orleans operated the Museum from 1950 until 1987. At that time, budget cuts threatened to close the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum permanently. In 1987 a group of
concerned pharmacists, physicians and community business leaders established the "Friends of Historical Pharmacy", a non-profit organization. The "Friends" took over the complete operation of the Museum, including responsibility for all funding. This group led by President, Edward S. Bopp and Chairman, Salvatore D' Angelo, ,maintain and operate the Museum today.

America's first licensed pharmacist
Dufilho's most significant contribution to the history and integrity of the field of pharmacy took place in New Orleans in 1816. In 1804, the State of Louisiana, led by Governor Claiborne, passed a law that required a licensing examination for pharmacists wishing to practice their profession. Prior to this law and before Louisiana became a U.S. State, there were some informal territory licensing measures, but none were enforced. A person could apprentice for six months and then compound and sell his or her own concoctions without any regulations or standards. The public received incorrect doses and erroneous inedieations. In 1804, Governor Claiborne established a board of reputable pharmacists and physicians to administer a three-hour oral examination given at the Cabildo in Jackson Square. 

Louis J. Dufilho Jr. was the first to pass the licensing examination, therefore making his pharmacy the first United States apothecary shop to be conducted on the basis of proven adequacy.