The first licensed sale of medical drugs in Hvalsø opened when GP Bang began practising here in 1857, as he ran a small dispensary supplying household drugs and pharmacies.
As the demand for medical assistance rose, Doctor Bang had to employ an assistant. The workload was further lightened when a royal grant was given to run a pharmacy in Hvalsø. The grant was given to Johan Georg Keller Jensen (1818-86), who had run a pharmacy in Holsten, and in 1872 Hvalsø Apotek opened.
Apart from supplying the townsmen in Hvalsø, the pharmacy also supplied farmers and their crews as well as villagers in adjacent communities, among these Count Scheel of Ryegaard, who spent 109 kroner and 80 øre from January to May 1877. This was a considerable sum of money considering that an average yearly salary in those days amounted to 650 kroner.
A list of drugs bought by the Count includes ointments, mixtures, plasters, leeches, glycerin, ginger cookies, gargles, camphor, potassium bromide, collyrium eyewash, etc.
After JGK Jensen’s death, his son Christian Erasmus Otterstrøm Jensen managed the pharmacy for his mother until 1917. Christian Jensen was a man of high standing in the local community, but he also earned international distinction as an expert in mosses. He published more than 40 theses on the subject and his principal work, The Mosses of Denmark or The Depiction of Bryophytes found in Denmark and the Faroe Islands, was published in 2 beautifully illustrated volumes in 1915 and 1925 successively.
During and after WW2 the laboratory was used for analyzing the calorific value of various mosses from the peat bogs in the vicinity.
In a governmental inspection on April 25th 1950 it is mentioned that, “since our last inspection a continuous water distiller has been installed in the galenic laboratory, as well as an electrical drying cabinet for dry granulation of tablets. The former steam distillation machine has been demolished. Furthermore a washbasin has been mounted in the staff toilet”.
The Pharmacy 2019
The Pharmacist Charlotte Wiberg was granted license to Hvalsø Apotek in 2014.
In 2018 the 450 m2-building was renovated, providing easy access for the disabled and a larger shopping area, but the old house has by and large preserved its original look.