On this day in 1876, this ad ran at the top of the Southern Banner's back page:
The business was owned and operated by Dr. Henry "Hal" Carlton Billups, Dr. H. R. J. Long, and Dr. Crawford W. Long, the discoverer of anesthesia.
The Longs were brothers who had established their first practice in Athens in 1851. After serving as surgeons for the Confederacy during the war, the three doctors returned to Athens and, once re-establishing their lines of credit with northern pharmaceutical companies, returned to practicing both medicine and pharmacy for the local population in 1866. In 1870, Dr. Crawford's son, Dr. Edward C. Crawford, joined the practice.
Dr. Crawford Long kept a medical office at the pharmacy, as well as being active managing the retail side of the business. He would typically stop at the store prior to his morning rounds, visiting his patients in their homes. As a retail manager, he expected the staff to exhibit "promptness, neatness, and systematic observances." In the 1870s, the partners added a soda fountain to the business to attract the patronage of college students.
Much like the modern drugstore, non-medical items were available at Longs & Billups: hygienic items such as brushes and soaps, some sweets, and household goods such as paint and varnishes that would now be found in home improvement stores.
The alcohol sold as medicine was common at the time; often the processes for creating an alcoholic beverage would destroy any bacteria, and it became somewhat associated with health. Most patent medicines had approximately 20% alcohol content, but frequently would also contain opiates such as cocaine or heroin. Plain whiskey or brandy was, in such instances, a more gentle medicine.
In 1877, Dr. Billups left the practice, and the business changed its name to C. W. & E. C. Long. Dr. Crawford Long died in June, 1878. The firm name then changed to E. C. Long & Co., and by 1880, was doing most of its business in retail and wholesale building supplies for a booming economy.
- Southern Banner, Jun. 1875 - Oct. 1877 on Microfilm in the Heritage collection.
- Athens Banner, 28 September 1880, p. 3, col. 1, in the Athens Historic Newspaper collection in the Digital Library of Georgia.
- Dr. Crawford W. Long: The Distinguished Physician-Pharmacist by Jos. Jacobs in the Heritage collection.
- Prelude to Fame: Crawford Long's Discovery of Anaesthesia by Ruby L. Radford in the Heritage and juvenile biography collections.
- Oconee Hill Cemetery, Athens, Georgia, Volume I by Charlotte Thomas Marshall in the Heritage and general collections.
- Annals of Athens, 1801-1901 by Augustus Longstreet Hull in the Heritage collection.
- Athens: A Pictorial History, 1801-2001 by James K. Reap in the Heritage and general collections.
- Crawford W. Long: Proceedings in Statuary Hall of the United States Capital Upon the Unveiling and Presentation of the Statue of Crawford W. Long in the Heritage and general collections.
- "We Have Conquered Pain:" The Discovery of Anesthesia by Dennis G. Fradin the Heritage and general collections.
- The First Anesthetic: The Story of Crawford Long by Frank Kells Boland in the Heritage and biography collections.
- Frontier Medicine: From the Atlantic to the Pacific, 1492-1941 by David Dary in the general collection.
- Timetables of Medicine by Gill Davies in the general collection.
- Western Medicine: An Illustrated History by Irvine Loudon in the general collection.