H. K. Mulford Co.

Digger Odell Publications 2007


The H. K. Mulford Co. has had a remarkable business growth. The venture was first conducted by H. K. Mulford as H. K. Mulford & Co.. who succeeded to the business formerly conducted by Remington & Sayre at 1800 Market street. the oldest drug store in Philadelphia, founded in 1823 by W. R. Simes, who afterwards became prominent as a manufacturer o f refined camphor.

Mr. Mulford was joined by Milton Campbell and E.V. Pechin and the business was incorporated under the laws of Pennsylvania as the H. K. Mulford Co. in 1891 The officers 4 the firm are: Milton Campbell, president; H. K. Mulford, vice-president; E. V. Pechin ,secretary: L. P. Faucett, treasurer; A. T. Rickards. assistant treasurer. Of these. Mr. Campbell, Mr. Mulford, and Mr. Pechin are graduates of the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and prior to their engage ment in the manufacturing business were each individually engaged it the retail drug business. From a business of scarcely $15,000 per year the annual sales of the company have increased until at the present time they exceed $2,000,000 per year; the Company has a paid-in capital of $1,000,000, a handsome surplus. and branch houses in New York, Chicago. St. Louis, San Francisco, and 'Minneapolis.. with a large business in foreign countries.

The development of the business since its establishment at 1800 Market street as a retail drug store has been phenomenal. The Company was early obliged to seek adjoining properties, and in 1897 the property at 13th and Waverly streets was purchased. The business continued to grow and additional properties were secured in 1902 and 1907, that obtained last year at 11th and Catharine streets embracing practically an entire block. As might be expected, enormous laboratory facilities are required by this house. The buildings on 13th street contain the various research, chemical and analytical laboratories, manufacturing laboratories for pharmaceutical specialties, tablets, capsules, etc., the printing and binding establishments, and the various departments of stock, sales, shipping, mailing, foreign business, and the like. The tablet department alone has a daily capacity of 8, 500,000 tablets. The laboratories at 11th and Catharine streets are used for the preparation of crude drugs, milling, etc., and the manufacture of pharmaceutical and chemical preparations, assayed and physiologically standardized pharmace ticals, embracing solids, fluid and powdered extrac tinctures, etc. The work of the analytical laboratories under the direction of Charles E. Vanderkleed and a corps of trained assistants. A laboratory of original research is maintained, and the scientific department under the direction of F. E. Stewart. M. D.. Ph. G.

In this connection the H. K. Mulford Co. designs builds, and constructs on its own premises practical all the machinery used for the manufacture of its preparations and employs a large and competent corps of skilled machinists and mechanical engineers.

In 1893 the manufacture of diphtheria antitoxin and vaccine was undertaken, the company being the first American house to engage in this field. The biologic laboratories. occupying specially constructed and equipped buildings, are located on the firm's own farrr at Glenolden, about eight miles from Philadelphi while the antitoxin laboratories and the vaccine laoratories are under the direction of A. P. Hitcher M.D., and W. F. Elgin, M.D., respectively, with a capble corps of co-workers and assistants. During the last year Dr. Hitchens spent considerable time with Professor Wright in London, studying bacterial vaccines at the so-called opsonic theory, and the firm is now engaged in producing these vaccines, for which there appears to he a very promising future.

The H. K. Mulford Co. was one of the first house to recognize the necessity for standardizing pharmaceutical products contatning alkaloids and other principals, capable of chemical assay, as it was also one of the first to appreciate the value of testing drugs on animals to ascertain their pharmacodynamic value. The department of chemical standardization is located in Philadelphia and that for physiological testing at Glenolden. In these departments are employed fifteen experts, some with degrees from European universities, while others occupy chairs in Philadelphia medical and pharmaceut cal colleges. These experts meet in a club of their own and discuss papers written by members on the subjects in their several special lines, while every alternate month the heads of all the departments meet with the officers of the corporation to confer with each other regarding methods of improvement.

The H. K. Mulford Co. also early realized that, while: pharmacy has a commercial side, the practice of the vocation is a part of the practice of medicine and shoul be carried on by professional methods. Accordingly, when its experts discover new and valuable improvements it donates the results of these researches to the Pharmacopoeial Revision Committee. In this way the discoveries become the property of the profession and pass into general use.

Recognizing that monopoly is unprofessional, and that the free discussion of monopolized products is in possible because, if evidence in their favor is reported the investigator is accused of being purchased by the manufacturer, or, if the report is of such a characte as to cause injury to sales the result is liable to b disastrous to the investigator, the H. K. Mulford Co. is opposed to all monopolies of therapeutic agents. Patents on processes and apparatus for manufacture, such for example, as the patent for manufacturing chloroform, which does not create a monopoly, are approved, likewise are the use of brand-names to distinguish between products.