In honor of International Women’s Day, RCHS honors one of the earliest woman pharmacists in New York State, Miss Abigail M. Littlefield. Born in 1868, Abigail possessed a natural curiosity for science and medicine that led her to be among the first female students to enroll in the pharmacy program at Albany College of Pharmacy,
Graduating in 1898 as a licensed pharmacist Abigail could compound drugs per physician’s orders. The fact that she was licensed as a New York State pharmacist reflected new laws enacted by the Federal Bureau of Chemistry in 1901 that regulated and monitored the manufacturing, selling and importation of drugs.
Abigail’s pharmacy was located in Troy on 4th Street just north of the present Uncle Sam’s Health Food Store. Along with compounding drugs, she also sold various medicinal supplies and toiletries in her pharmacy.
Miss Littlefield died in 1922 and is buried in Albany Rural Cemetery. Family correspondence of the Littlefield/Huntley families of Grafton and West Troy, (Watervliet) are in the RCHS archives. The collection was donated by Elizabeth Losa in 2000.