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The Field Years

Canadian Pharmacy Developments
Field’s tenure of 42 years as pharmacist-owner of the practice in Niagara-on-the-Lake, surpassed only slightly by Paffard’s 46 years, witnessed truly momentous changes in the practice of pharmacy, as well as for advances in pharmaceutical and medical spheres and social and political events. We will try to keep the lists as succinct as possible, as difficult as that may be at times.

When Field assumed ownership from Coyne in 1922, pharmaceutical education was still what it had been, that is those graduates of the OCP School could take an optional set of University of Toronto exams beyond the OCP diploma/licensing exams to earn the University’s Phm.B. degree. However, the class entering five years later in 1927, following a three-year apprenticeship as a pre-admission requirement, would be the first to qualify automatically when they graduated in 1929 after a two-year University program in cooperation with the OCP for the Phm.B. degree.

The 1929 Canadian Opium and Narcotic Drug Act was the first comprehensive Canadian legislation to control the sale and distribution of Narcotics.

The 1930’s witnessed the deaths in the USA from elixir of sulfanilamide, sparking major changes in American food and drug legislation. The causes of death were not the active constituent in the elixir, but the basis of the solution that served as the vehicle.

Senior matriculation (i.e. after Grade XIII) became the entrance requirement for OCP apprenticeship. OCP also approved a 3-year academic program, which was never initiated, since the College moved instead to a 4-year baccalaureate.

1932 and 1938 amendments strengthened the Canadian Opium and Narcotics Drugs Act.

The four-year U of T baccalaureate degree programme admitted its first students in 1948, with apprenticeship reduced to 18 months, before, during, or after, but with at least one continuous year being post graduate.

The Canadian Conference of Pharmaceutical Faculties (CCPF, since 1969, the Association of Faculties of Pharmacy of Canada, AFPC) was organized in 1944; while the Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists (CSHP) was founded in 1947. Both organizations gained representation on the Council of the Canadian Pharmaceutical Association in 1955 as the result of representations made via the CCPF. A number of other specialized national organizations representing their particular interest groups emerged later. The Opium and Narcotics Drug Act underwent still another amendment in 1946.

The first Univeristy of Toronto B.Sc.Phm. graduates matriculated in 1952. The OCP School officially became a U of T Faculty of Pharmacy in 1953. The first graduate programme for the M.Sc.Phm. degree was also launched in 1953, with the first graduate appearing in 1955.

The Faculty of Pharmacy moved to its own new building on the main campus of the University in 1963, with arrangements made to initiate its own Ph.D. programme. The first Ph.D. graduate matriculated in 1966, after Field closed his pharmacy in 1964. In the meantime, the practical training programme had also been reduced to one year.

A new Canadian Narcotic Control Act appeared in 1961, with amendments in 1962 and 1964.

As an addendum, we mention that the post-baccalaureate professional Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree after a full two-calendar year programme was introduced in 1992. There is some discussion now of moving to an entry level Pharm.D.

Medical/Pharmaceutical Discoveries/Advances
The period 1922 to 1964 represented by Erland Field’s practice in Niagara on the Lake covers advances of such magnitude that it is impossible to cover everything, stretching as they do from the first discovery of insulin and some of the vitamins, as well as the first birth control clinics to heart and kidney transplants, oral insulin and tranquilizers. We will attempt only to hit highlights in each of the decades from the 1920’s and ending with the 1960’s.

In the 1920’s, we see the discovery of vitamins C, D, and E, with the role of D to promote proper bone growth and combat rickets being particularly noteworthy. Banting and Best discover insulin; while Alexander Fleming discovers penicillin, the first antibiotic. The first female hormones are isolated and a usable pregnancy test emerges. The iron lung is developed. BCG vaccine is used against tuberculosis.

The 1930’s see the discovery of the first sulfa drugs, radioactive drugs, cortisone, vitamin K, the male hormone, the first electron microscope, artificial heart, barbiturate anaesthesia, the first synthesis of oestrogen, and the antimalarial drug, atebrin, as well as the definition of “antihistamine.”

The 1940’s see the active use of penicillin after stable production methods were developed and it had widespread use to treat wound infections during World War II (1939-1945). Also new were cortisone, streptomycin, and antihistamines (such as benedryl). The period also saw the first kidney dialysis machine, the first fluoridated water, the first successful heart operation in a newborn. The Kinsey Report appeared to a wide range of reactions.

The 1950’s brought the first modern diuretics, the first heart pacemaker implanted, anticoagulants, the first successful kidney transplants, oral insulin, tranquilizers, contraceptive tablets (“the Pill”), polio (Salk) vaccine. The same period also suffered the horrors of birth defects caused by thalidomides, as well as recognition of the close association between smoking and cancer.

The 1960’s witnessed the “Pill”, clear food and drug regulations, while chemotherapy was used to attack plasma lipids and smallpox.

Miscellaneous Science and Technology Developments 1922-1964
1922 – Tutankhamen’s tomb discovered
1925 – frozen food process developed by Birds Eye
1925-26 – invention of television by Baird
1928 – electric razor developed by Schick
1929 – decompression chamber invented by Davis
1935 – radar invented by Watson-Watt
1938 – xerography invented by Carbon
1955 - optical fibers invented by Kapany
1957 – Sputnik I first orbiting satellite launched
1958 – microchip invented by Kiley
1959 – first pictures of far side of the moon
1960 – laser invented by Maiman
1961 – Yuri Gagarin is first man in space