Modern Medical Manufacturing, 1918–29

  • Jonathan Liebenau
Part of the Studies in Business History book series (STBH)


Drug makers had evolved from the small manufacturing pharmacies of the 1820s to larger production units with regional markets by mid-century. By investing capital, first in expanded ranges of products and later in more efficient manufacturing techniques, some companies were able to grow to a moderately large size. Army purchases at the beginning of the Civil War and expanded markets after the war allowed enterprising firms to become sufficiently sizeable to take advantage of the opportunities provided by faster transportation and the increased circulation of newspapers. Formal, hierarchical management structures supported this growth by the 1890s. As the medical profession became increasingly science-oriented, so companies too began to consider the possibilities of science. Technical interpretations were increasingly used as drug manufacturers expanded and from before the turn of the century served a number of functions from advertising rhetoric to standardisation. Gradually, company science shifted from merely a veneer to the employment of trained medical scientists.


Medical Industry Baby Food Drug Industry Scientific Staff Fast Transportation 
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Copyright information

© Jonathan Liebenau 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan Liebenau
    • 1
  1. 1.The Technical Change CentreLondonUK

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