The collection documents Parke, Davis and Company, one of the largest and oldest pharmaceutical firms in America.
Scope and Contents:
The collection documents Parke, Davis and Company, one of America's oldest and largest drug makers. Parke, Davis had the first research laboratory in the American pharmaceutical industry. The company played a major role in the development of some of the principle new drugs of the twentieth century and pioneered the field of drug standardization. They were one of the first American firms to produce antitoxins, hormones, and other biologicals. They introduced new and important drugs such as adrenalin, dilantin, chlorenpleniol, and other antibiotics. They also did important research on vitamins, disinfectants, and pencillin.
The collection contains complete documentaion of all the research activities done, including research laboratory notes, correspondence, and published papers. The collection also contains corporate, financial, advertising and sales materials, photographs, and audiovisual materials. The collection is important for those researchers interested in the history of public health, the history of biologicals, pharmaceutical manufacturing and business history.
Collection is divided into 13 series.
Series 1: Corporate Materials, 1887-1951
Series 2: Financial Materials, 1880-1970
Series 3: Employee/Personnel Materials, 1900-1989
Series 4: Advertising/Sales Materials, 1868-1980
Series 5: Photographs, 1866-1992
Series 6: Notebooks, 1908-1968
Series 7: Control Department Records, 1884-1931
Series 8: Formulas, 1882-1967
Series 9: Equipment Data Files, 1922-1978
Series 10: Publications, 1968-1988
Series 11: Research Materials, 1920-1978
Series 12: Drawings, 1911-1971
Series 13: Addenda, 1867-1970
Series 14: Audio Materials, 1956-1957
Parke, Davis and Company traces it's origins to Samuel Pearce Duffield (1833-1916), a physician and pharmacist. Duffield was born in Carlisle, Pennsylvania and his family moved to Detroit when he was an infant. Duffield graduated from the University of Michigan in 1854 and he attended medical school at the University of Pennsylvania, latter leaving for Germany where he studied chemistry and sought treatment for his eyesight. He subsequently earned a Doctor of Philosophy from Ludwig University at Giessen in Germany. Duffield returned to Detroit in 1858 and established a retail drugstore with a strong interest in manufacturing pharmaceuticals. Duffield sought financial partners for his retail and manufacturing venture with A.L. Patrick and Francis C. Conant. Both men retracted their investments and Duffield met Hervey Coke Parke (1927-1899), a native of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.
Duffield and Parke formed a formal partnership in 1866. George S. Davis, a third partner and traveling salesman previously with Farrand, Sheley and Company, was added 1867. Augustus F. Jennings joined the company as a partner to head manufacturing. The company became known as Duffield, Parke, Davis, & Jennings Company. Duffield withdrew in 1869 and the name Parke, Davis & Company was adopted in 1871. The company incorporated in 1875 and began planning world-wide scientific expeditions to discover new vegetable drugs such as Guarana, Bearsfoot, Eucalyptus Globulus, and Coca. The company first showed a profit in 1876, and the first dividend paid to shareholders in 1878 and dividends paid until mid-1960s. Research was a major activity of the company.
In 1907, Parke, Davis and Company bought 340 acres in northeast Avon Township, Michigan, and called it Parkedale Farm. The farm was dedicated on October 8, 1908, and included sterilization rooms and a vaccine propagating building. By 1909 the farm included 200 horses, 25 to 50 cattle, 150 sheep, and employed 20 men. The horses produced the antitoxin for diphtheria and tetanus, the cattle produced a vaccine for smallpox preventatives, and the sheep made serum. Only the healthiest animals were used and all were well cared for. Exotic plants were also grown on the site and used for drugs. Parke-Davis' chief products were antitoxins and vaccines as well as farm crops for feeding the animals. The farm continued to produce vaccines for diphtheria, scarlet fever, tetanus, smallpox, anthrax, and in the 1950s, the Salk polio vaccine.
Due to a weakening financial position, the company became susceptible to take-over, and was purchased by Warner-Lambert in 1970. Warner Lambert, was then acquired by Pfizer in 2000. In 2007, Pfizer closed its research facilities in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Rochester Hills Museum at Voon Hoosen Farm (last accessed on September 29, 2021 https://www.rochesterhills.org/Museum/LocalHistory/ParkeDavisFarm.pdf)
Parke, Davis and Company. Parke-Davis At 100...progress in the past...promise for the future. Detroit, Michigan, 1966.
Materials in the Archives Center, National Museum of American History
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Cover Girl Advertising Oral History Documentation Project (NMAH.AC.0374)
Garfield and Company Records (NMAH.AC.0820)
Albert W. Hampson Commercial Artwork Collection (NMAH.AC.0561)
Ivory Soap Advertising Collection (NMAH.AC.0791)
Kiehl's Pharmacy Records (NMAH.AC.0819)
Alan and Elaine Levitt Advertisement Collection (NMAH.AC.0303)
Medical Sciences Film Collection (NMAH.AC.0222)
Norwich Eaton Pharmaceutical, Inc. Collection (NMAH.AC.0395)
Procter & Gamble Company Product Packaging Collection (NMAH.AC.0836)
Sterling Drug Company Records (NMAH.AC.772)
Syntex Collection of Pharmaceutical Advertising (NMAH.AC.0821)
Warshaw Collection of Business Americana Subject Categories: Medicine (NMAH.AC.0060.S01.01.Medicine)
Warshaw Collection of Business Americana Subject Categories: Patent Medicines (NMAH.AC.0060.S01.01.PatentMedicines)
Materials at the Smithsonian Institution Libraries
Smithsonian Libraries Trade Literature Collection
Trade catalogs related to Parke, Davis & Co.; Warner-Lambert; Pfizer Pharmaceuticals; and Pfizer, Inc.
Materials at Other Organizations
Detroit Public Library, Special Collections
Parke, Davis & Company records, 1892-1959
Scrapbook of clippings, 1929-44; Excursions & Announcements, 1892-1902; and company newsletters.
University of California San Francisco
Drug Industry Documents was created by the University of California San Francisco Library in collaboration with faculty members C. Seth Landefeld, MD and Michael Steinman, MD. Originally established to house documents from an off-label marketing lawsuit against Parke-Davis (United States of America ex rel. David Franklin vs. Parke-Davis), the archive has grown to include documents from additional sources illustrating how the pharmaceutical industry, academic journals and institutions, continuing medical education organizations and regulatory/funding agencies operate in ways that are detrimental to public health.
Division of Medicine and Science, National Museum of American History
The division holds objects related to Parke, Davis that primarily include containers (boxes and glass bottles) that held phamrmaceuticals, biologicals (vaccines), crude drugs, and herb packages. See accessions: 1978.0882; 1982.0043; 1982.0043; 1984.0351; 1985.0475; 1988.3152; 1991.0415; 1992.3127; 2001.3066; 2012.0165; and 2018.5001.
The initial collection of approximately 185 cubic feet was donated by the Warner-Lambert Company, through Jerry A. Weisbach, Vice-President and President of the Pharmaceutical Research Division, on February 3, 1982.
Collection is open for research but is stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Contact the Archives Center for information at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-633-3270.
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Lee Ya-Ching Papers, NASM.2008.0009, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.