The first step towards a scientific education at the J. B. Trommsdorff institute in Erfurt
At the most important private pharmaceutical institute of its time, young Emanuel learns not only the fundamentals of the manual craft needed in the pharmacy, but also the relevant theories. It is most important to his famous teacher to instruct him in scientific research work.
Raw opium: Basic ingredient for the production of morphine
Opium is obtained from the dried, milky sap of unripe opium poppy seed pods. A main component of opium is the alkaloid morphine, which is discovered by Sertürner in 1804, but does not attract interest as a new plant constituent until 1817. It is the foundation for our alkaloid research.
The “Cabinet of Novelties” from 1827: A decisive element of a new product portfolio
Among chemists, physicians and pharmacists, the collection of alkaloids and notebook is to “increase the general knowledge of this class of remedies [...]” and “enable them to test these substances at little cost”. Justus Liebig also receives a box with the collection of active substances.
The business ledger from 1827 documents initial business relations with European neighbors
In 1827 “Rudolf Geygy in Basel” is mentioned among the customers. Business ties to Paris are documented only a few years later. The business ledger from 1840 lists customers from London, Zurich or St. Petersburg, in 1845 there are initial indications of customers in New York.
Medal from the Société de Pharmacie (Paris) for Emanuel Merck, 1830
How can Emanuel build a reputation for himself? When the awarding of a prize is announced in Paris, he only receives an “encouragement medal”. Justus Liebig recognizes the problem: The examiners are unable to reproduce his results, which are purer than their own reference substances.
1836: The business premises must grow.
Emanuel Merck moves the pharmacy from the premises on Schlossgraben, which are becoming too small, to Rheinstrasse 9 on Luisenplatz. In 1860, the pharmacy is transferred to the building next door at Rheinstrasse 7; in 1905, after renovation work, it is moved back to the corner building.
The “Annals of Pharmacy” of 1836
The publication was the voice of the most prominent German scientists in the controversial process of realigning the science of pharmacy. The founders, including Justus Liebig, invited outstanding colleagues to work as co-publishers. In 1836, this honor is given to Emanuel Merck.
The old factory in the eastern part of Darmstadt (advertisement used in the 1890s)
Research into alkaloids lays the scientific basis for economic success. In the 1830s, a factory starts to grow up on the eastern edge of the city. Some of the functions stay in the city center: the commercial and dispatch departments, as well as the control laboratory.