John Wyeth & Brother

Digger Odell Publications 2007


The business of John Wyeth & Brother, to which the present corporation of John Wyeth & Brother, Incorporated, has succeeded, was first established as a co partnership between John Wyeth and Frank H. Wyeth in i86o. when they established themselves in the retail Drug business at 1412 Walnut street, where they continued until 1888, having in the meantime admitted to partnership Edward T. Robbins. From the beginning . The business proved successful, and requiring greater facilities the adjoining property 1414 Walnut street was added.' Their preparations soon became recognized by the medical profession and their laboratory vas enlarged by the addition of another property, No. 416 Walnut Street, the firm soon thereafter entering regularly into the wholesale manufacturing business. The business was continued until February, 1889, when he entire Walnut Street plant was destroyed by fire, involving a loss of over $500.000. Other quarters were it once secured at 18th and Hamilton Streets, where :they were soon again in position to supply the greater portion of their products to the trade.

With the business thus established temporarily on Hamilton Street, they purchased their present site at Eleventh and Washington Avenue. to which they removed in November, 1889. Since that time several large additions have been added until the capacity of their laboratories to-day is more than triple the original plant established at this location. With this house s closely identified the inauguration of " elegant pharmacy.." and the introduction of the present mode of administering many of the most potent and nauseous remedies in palatable form. It is no doubt to these ,acts that they owe much of their long continued and constantly growing prosperity.

The original firm of John Wyeth & Brother was succeeded in 1899 by John Wyeth & Brother. Inc., the members of the old firm still retaining their several Interests and continuing as executive officers of the company until the present year, when owing to the death of John Wyeth, his son. Stuart Wyeth, succeeded as president of the company.

It may be said in addition to the above that time when Wyeth was a partner of Henry C. Blair at 3th and Walnut streets. Upon the dissolution of the partnership the firm of John Wyeth & Bro. was established. The old Blair store founded by Henry C. Blair in 1838. is still in successful existence under the ownership of H. C. Blair, 3d, and even in comparison with more modern stores presents a handsome appearance. Both of the Wyeth brothers were graduates of the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy. It is said that when John Wyeth came up for examination prior to graduation. that he answered every question but one in the oral examination that was given him. He was a man of large ability and force of character. Shortly before his death he contributed $1,000 to the Procter Memorial Fund, the firm of Wyeth & Bro. giving an additional $1,000 Edward Dobbins, formerly a partner, but now deceased, was a man of indomitable energy, and it was due to his exertions as a salesman that the goods of the firm were so largely introduced t0 the trade in the United States. The Wyeths have always given great prominence to the elixirs, and it is probable that at on time this line of elegant pharmaceuticals was not equalled by that of any other house in this country they also manufacture an extensive line of compressed pills, suppositories and effervescing salts.