The company can be traced back to Emil Mallinckrodt and his cousin Julius, who both left Germany for the United States in 1831 to seek opportunities in the New World. Emil settled in St. Louis, Missouri, where he became a successful farmer specializing in apple orchards and vineyards. One of his sons, Edward, who was interested in the applied uses of chemistry for farming, went to Germany with his brother Otto in 1864 to study chemistry. When the brothers returned to the United States, they started G. Mallinckrodt & Company, Manufacturing Chemists, with their eldest brother, Gustav, as a partner. Founded in 1867, the business began with $10,000 capital.
Most of the major pharmaceutical companies at the time were located in the East. The Mallinckrodt brothers would have to compete with such firms as E.R. Squibb and Sons, Charles Pfizer and Company
, Powers-Weightman and Company, and Rosengarten and Sons. Edward later recalled,"We realized from the start that we would have to make it to the interest of the buyer to place his order with us by supplying goods of the highest quality." Working in their favor was the fact that St. Louis was fast becoming a major commercial center because of the railroad and the development of the Mississippi River. As the only chemical manufacturing company west of Philadelphia, Mallinckrodt was able to capture much of the newly emerging western markets.
The brothers manufactured chemicals and administered the business in several small buildings located on the family farm. Office management and sales were Gustav's job, while Otto was in charge of the laboratory and purchases. Edward supervised the factory. Some of the staple chemical products they produced were aqua ammonia, spirits of nitrous ether, and acetic and carbolic acids. They later began to make chloroform and burnt alum, which is used in baking powder. The hallmark of their products was the fineness of their chemicals, which were easily soluble and did not cake like some of the other powders on the market at the time. Mallinckrodt soon became identified as quality producers whose goods, unlike other producers, could withstand the scrutiny for adulteration.
Mallinckrodt was purchased by Tyco Healthcare (Tyco International
) in 2001. More recently in 2007, the healthcare business units were spun off under the name Covidien.
Mallinckrodt Incorporated (as the company is now known) is the only company in the United States licensed to purify cocaine for medicinal use. According to Marco Castillo, spokesman for Peru's state-owned National Coca Company, a Stepan Company plant in Maywood, New Jersey buys about 100 metric tons of dried Peruvian coca leaves each year. The Stepan Company then extracts the cocaine from the coca leaves and sells the product to Mallinckrodt Inc.
Close Up of Vignette:
Common Stock, specimen, late 1900’sPrinter: American Bank Note Company Dimensions:
8” (h) x 12” (w)State: MO-Missouri Subject Matter: Pharmaceutical Companies
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| Specimen Pieces Vignette Topic(s): Animal Featured
| Dog Featured
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| Laboratory Equipment Featured Condition:
No fold lines, punch hole cancels in signature areas and body, very crisp.