Quick Reads: C. O. Bigelow in The Wall Street Journal

Bigelow Sign

The Wall Street Journal has just published an article about C. O. Bigelow, “the oldest apothecary in America,” in honor of its 175 years in business. The article gives an enjoyable overview of Bigelow’s history, including this line:

Civil War generals frequented the shop, according to old ledgers, and store records from 1905 show Samuel Clemens, aka Mark Twain, strolled the aisles alongside Clarisse Coudert, aka Mrs. Condé Nast.

You can read it here (at least, until some paywall shuts us out).

I shop regularly at Bigelow, where I purchase everything from to fancy scented soaps to chewing gum to Lipstick Queen products to prescriptions to imported Italian shave products for my husband.

It’s odd that the article makes no mention of C. O. Bigelow’s licensing deal with Bath & Body Works, which has most likely enabled Bigelow to survive over the past decade, but that information probably would have detracted from the central idea of the article.

In any case, I’m glad that Bigelow still stands on 6th Avenue, ready to meet my shopping needs, from the rarified to the mundane.

Image: photo by Tinsel Creation.


5 thoughts on “Quick Reads: C. O. Bigelow in The Wall Street Journal

  1. I’ll have to check that out. There are no C.O. Bigelows near me and I didn’t even realized an actual store existed until recently – I only knew of them from the products in B&BW. I have a Quince hand lotion I picked up there on sale looking at me from my computer desk right now!

    1. Hi, Odonata! This store is the “original.” They licensed the company name and logo to B&BW a while back, and B&BW created a new Bigelow line of products and opened all those Bigelow shops across the country. I think most of them are closed now. But the products are still available (and some of them are excellent), and the original/flagship shop is a must-see during a NYC visit!

      1. Dearest Tinsel
        The Dandy will be in NYC later this month… should I require anything by way of toiletries (a near certainty) I shall now know where to go!!
        Yours ever
        The Perfumed Dandy

        1. It’s down in my rather handsome burgundy swede NYC book, so I shall be sure to pop in if I have a moment to spare!
          Thank you again for the tip.
          Yours ever
          The Perfumed Dandy

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