Posted by: Cornwall Community Museum | April 23, 2015

Artifact of the Week – MAX DRUG STORE, C. A. MacHaffie, Cornwall, Ontario.


A MAX DRUG STORE, corked stopped medicine bottle, Cornwall, circa 1905.

This bottle was found in an old dump by Roger Roy and donated to the museum.  It still contains some of its original contents.

It probably contained MAX COUGH SYRUP.  In 1905 chemist and optician C.A. MacHaffie said that Max Cough Syrup Is the best remedy for Coughs, Colds and all inflammatory conditions for air passages. Try it.  One dose will give relief and one bottle will cure any cold.  25 cents a bottle.


Charles A. MacHaffie and Edward H. Elvidge arrived in Cornwall from Brantford in 1881.  “After clerking several years, they graduated from the Ontario College of Pharmacy in 1885, and returning to Cornwall, opened up business for themselves in 1886 in the St. Lawrence Block on Pitt Street, where they remained for one year, when they removed to the store they occupy at present (1901) in the Rossmore Hotel Building.  In 1887 they opened a branch store in East Cornwall at the corner of Water and Marlborough Streets.

Working under the motto “The Best of Everything that is Good in Medicine,” in 1901 the duo claimed that they received orders “all over and the United States , particularly for one preparation, which has won a place for itself without advertising – Nazalone, the great Catarrh Cure…Their Max Cough Syrup is another preparation that is winning a place for itself as a household remedy for coughs and colds.

The partnership dissolved in 1905 and the drugstore was operated by MacHaffie alone under the name MAX Drug Store.scan0006

Around 1933 Arthur MacHaffie took over the business and it became part of the Rexall Drug Store chain.  It then joined the Liggett chain in the 1940s, and is now long gone.



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