Before 1804, the field of pharmacy was unregulated. The only requirement was a six-month apprenticeship, after which time the person could make and sell medicines unhampered by any laws or agencies.
This fascinating museum in the French Quarter is built around the collection of Louis Dufilho, Jr., the first pharmacist in the U.S. to pass a licensing test: a three-hour oral exam given by a panel of physicians. When you see some of the bizarre artifacts and instruments used by doctors and pharmacists in the early 19th century, you wonder how patients ever survived the cure.
The price is very reasonable: adults $5.00, student and seniors $4.00, children under six admitted free.
"La Pharmacie Francaise" was constructed in 1823 for Louis J. Dufilho Jr., America's first licensed pharmacist (licensed by examination in 1816). The apothecary shop, located in the heart of the Vieux Carre (French Quarter), opened officially as a museum in 1950. Two floors of permanent and temporary exhibits, as well as a medicinal herb garden in the courtyard offer visitors incite into the history of pharmacy, medicine and healthcare. Louisiana was the first state to establish pharmacy law in the United States.