Interview with Nathan H. Kaplin, March 31, 1979
Project: University of Kentucky Oral History Project
Interview SummaryNathan Kaplin is a 1923 graduate of the Louisville College of Pharmacy which later became the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy. Kaplin's parents were from Poland and immigrated to the United States in the 1890s fleeing religious persecution and poverty. He explains that his parents originally settled in Philadelphia in 1904, and his father opened a shoe shop. They eventually moved to New Albany, Indiana right across the Ohio River from Louisville, Kentucky. Kaplin's father continued to sell and repair shoes.
Kaplin talks about his earliest recollections of New Albany, Indiana. He states that they were one of only four or five Jewish families in New Albany, and he talks about the Jewish community in Louisville. Kaplin attended Male High School in Louisville and graduated in 1921. Kaplin then entered the Louisville College of Pharmacy, and he describes how small the college was at that time. Kaplin talks about the dean of the college and his wife and other professors. Kaplin recalls a typical day at the College of Pharmacy, and states that he, like most of the other students, worked while attending school. In 1922, Kaplin got a job at the old Model Drugstore. He recalls that his main worry was taking "the boards." Although he did pass, he describes the experience which included both oral and written exams.
Kaplin and a friend opened a drugstore together, but eventually had to split up the business. He recalls the difficulty he had financially during the Great Depression. Kaplin also talks about the important part the pharmacist played during prohibition, and explains how pharmacies had whiskey permits to sell whiskey to those who had a prescription from a doctor. He also describes how pharmacists would make "drugstore gin."
Kaplin compares the neighborhood pharmacy to large chain pharmacies, and mentions the trust that people held in their local druggist. He recalls that the pharmacists would have meetings with local doctors and attempt to form a close cohesiveness. Kaplin talks about the changes in the merchandise sold in the drug stores over his career, and changes in pharmaceuticals and pharmacist training. Kaplin also mentions the changes in the neighborhood where he had his drugstore at St. Catherine Street and Eighteenth Street. Kaplin talks about the Flood of 1937 and explains that he was the only pharmacy open between the Ohio River and Eighteenth Street. Kaplin was a member of the board of directors of the Louisville College of Pharmacy and was involved with the Alpha Zeta Omega pharmaceutical fraternity.
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Interview UsageInterviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.
Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.
All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.
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Kaplin, Nathan H. Interview by Dwayne Cox. 31 Mar. 1979. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
Kaplin, N.H. (1979, March 31). Interview by D. Cox. University of Kentucky Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.
Kaplin, Nathan H., interview by Dwayne Cox. March 31, 1979, University of Kentucky Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
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