Photographs – Monte’s Pharmacy

Montegano Collection

Italian Historical Society, Melbourne

Pharmacies are a first point of call for people seeking professional advice on their health and that of their families. But what if your local pharmacist couldn’t speak your language? In the Melbourne suburb of Carlton in the 1950s, the growing Italian community could visit Monte’s Pharmacy, owned by Italian pharmacist Frank Montegano. Frank had bought the business in 1950 after serving his apprenticeship there. As well as providing health advice to newly arrived migrants, Frank referred clients to the few Italian speaking doctors in the area. Monte’s Pharmacy stocked products imported from Italy including perfumes and medicines—a link to home in a new country. These photographs show Frank at work and eating a quick standing lunch in the dispensary of his shop. A view of the pharmacy from the corner of busy Lygon Street and University Lane shows its prominent signage and place in the streetscape.