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Parke, Davis Research Laboratory Records.

Parke, Davis Company  Search this
National Museum of American History (U.S.). Division of Medical Sciences  Search this
Pfizer Inc.  Search this
Warner-Lambert/Parke-Davis  Search this
Warner-Lambert/Parke-Davis. Pharmaceutical Research Division  Search this
Davis, George S.  Search this
Duffield, Samuel P., Dr. (physician, pharmacist)  Search this
Parke, Hervey Coke , 1827-1899  Search this
365 Cubic feet (510 boxes, 43 map folders)
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Annual reports
Employee records
Formulae, chemical
Lantern slides
Newspaper clippings
Price lists
16mm films
Sound recordings
Trade literature
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

Parke, Davis and Company. Parke-Davis At 100...progress in the past...promise for the future. Detroit, Michigan, 1966.
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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.
Separated Materials:
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 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.
advertising  Search this
Antibiotics  Search this
Architectural Blueprints  Search this
Biologicals  Search this
Chemistry  Search this
Diseases  Search this
Drugs -- 1900-1950  Search this
Drug factories  Search this
Influenza Epidemic, 1918-1919  Search this
Laboratories  Search this
Medical scientists -- 1900-1950  Search this
Patents  Search this
Pharmaceutical industry -- 1900-1950  Search this
Pharmacology -- 1900-1950  Search this
Photographs  Search this
Vaccines  Search this
Annual reports -- 20th century
Blueprints -- 20th century
Brochures -- 20th century
Correspondence -- 19th-20th century
Employee records
Formulae, chemical
Lantern slides -- 1900-1950
Newsletters -- 20th century
Newspaper clippings
Notebooks -- 1900-1950
Price lists
16mm films
Sound recordings -- Audiotapes -- Open reel
Trade literature
Parke, Davis Research Laboratory Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Parke, Davis Research Laboratory Records.
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Online Media:

Newspaper clippings

Collection Creator:
Ya-Ching, Lee  Search this
Box 11, Folder 9
Archival materials
1935-09 - 1935-12
Collection Restrictions:
No restrictions on access.
Collection Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests.
Collection Citation:
Lee Ya-Ching Papers, NASM.2008.0009, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Lee Ya-Ching Papers
Lee Ya-Ching Papers / Series 2: Professional
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
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