Fonds P178 - Charles Lewis Fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

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Charles Lewis Fonds

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on the documents in the fonds.

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

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  • 1843-1954 (Creation)
    Lewis, Charles, 1863-1925

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Physical description

35.5 cm of textual records
2 copper printing plates
4 photographs
1 artefact

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Name of creator


Biographical history

Charles Lewis, born in 1863 in Dublin, was notable for his work in pharmacy at The T. Eaton Drug Company Limited in Toronto from 1890-1917. His interest in medicine was influenced by his father, a physician and surgeon of Cork, Ireland. Lewis studied medicine at Queen's College, Cork, but his father's death made it impossible for him to finish medical school, so he turned his attention to drugs. He graduated from the University of Dublin, in the late 1880s with a major in the pharmaceutical drugs field. Upon completion of his schooling, he immigrated to Canada, settling in the Toronto area. He started his first business with Timothy Eaton, T. Eaton Company, a department store in downtown Toronto on Young Street, where he quickly added a full complement of drugs and elixirs. That was the beginning of the Chas. Lewis Drug Company. He expanded his operations to Eaton's stores and became Canada's first drugstore chain with a catalogue. In 1890, he became managing director of the T. Eaton Drug Company, a position he held until 1917, when he became head of the Welfare Department for the T. Eaton Company, Limited. He was known as "The Kindly Head of the Welfare Department." He died at his summer home "Old Mill Cottage," in Ahmic Harbour, Onatrio in 1925.

Custodial history

The fonds was purchased for the Osler Library from Alexander Books (Ancaster, Ontario) in November 2010.

Scope and content

The fonds illustrates Charles Lewis's work in pharmacy and includes a collection of his father's records, also named Charles Lewis. It contains books, drug formulae books, manuscripts, diplomas, licenses, certificates, patent documents, catalogues, testimonials, notes, correspondence, legal documents, financial documents, business documents, and obituaries.

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Immediate source of acquisition


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  • English

Script of material

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The documents are in English.

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Items can be requested for consultation online via the Library Catalogue or by email at Advance notice is recommended.

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Physical storage

  • Box: P178-1
  • Box: P178-2