Historical Foundation

Three Generations of Walgreens

Three generations of Walgreens: Charles Jr. and his son, Charles III, stand before a portrait of company founder, Charles R. Walgreen. The three innovative leaders made retailing history.


The Walgreen Drug Stores Historical Foundation


Old Walgreens Store & Shop

Generations of customers and employees hold fond memories of trips to the Walgreens soda fountain and prescriptions filled by the friendly local pharmacist. Most of all, they remember Walgreens, a welcome, dependable presence in countless neighborhoods across the country for more than 100 years.


Many of the products that have enriched our lives over the decades were developed and manufactured by Walgreens. Until the 1980s, however, there was no formal process for collecting and documenting the company's history. All that changed with the Walgreen Drug Stores Historical Foundation.

Early Walgreen stores looked quite different from our present self-service stores. It is the Historical Foundation's aim to build an understanding of early Walgreens store culture and to help educate the public about the role Walgreens played in the history of retail pharmacy. In 1986, the Historical Foundation unveiled a reproduction of the first Walgreens drugstore, which opened in 1901. The exhibit, featuring turn-of-the-century products and packaging, is housed at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry. Take a closer look.

From restaurant menus to old Walgreen pill bottles, cigar boxes to discontinued Walgreen-brand product packaging, the Historical Foundation collects artifacts donated by Walgreen aficionados from all over the country. Do you have something to donate to the Historical Foundation? Find out what items we desire and where you can send them.