The company fire department was founded in 1884
Workers living in company housing are obliged to join the fire watch. The fire department has been manned on a full-time basis since the 1920s. This photo depicts them during a fire extinguishing drill in 1921. The firefighter’s role also involves first-aid, patient transportation and general safety
“Annual reports on innovations in pharmacotherapy and pharmacy”
“E. Merck’s [KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany] annual reports on innovations in the fields of pharmacotherapy and pharmacy”, published from 1887 to 1957, “objectively” compile the most important information from scientific literature. For researchers of that time, they were an irreplaceable reference work.
Basis of “Merck’s [KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany] guaranteed pure reagents”
In 1888, the analytical work “Die Prüfung der chemischen Reagentien auf Reinheit” is published. "our Company guaranteed pure reagents” labeled “pro analysi” with strict purity standards now permit comparative chemical analysis. A quality control laboratory to maintain the standards.
1890: Start at the fermentation site – the early days of biotechnology
The “biochemical toolbox of life” is already used in 1890, with experiments on the production of lactic acid taking place at a fermentation site in Darmstadt. From 1893, lactic acid is produced from whey in a Bavarian dairy. Starting in 1934, ascorbic acid is also biotechnologically manufactured.
1890: A company “headquartered in New York under the name of Merck & Co." is founded
In 1887, exports to the United States are very successful. But a stronger presence is needed. Georg Merck and Theodor Weicker, a chemist, set up a company in 1890. In 1891, “Merck & Co." is publicly established as a new branch, i.e. a company operating independently. Photo: the building in New York.
In 1895, a bacteriological department is set up
Production comprises smallpox vaccine, diagnostics for the detection of tuberculosis and typhus, and serums for anthrax and diphtheria. The latter is improved to such an extent that the company is soon at the forefront of the competition. Photo: bleeding of horses is used to obtain serum (1904)
“Business relationships with the East”
Around 1900, subsidiaries exist in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Publications are translated. In 1921, the “company for economic relations” is to boost the business. Ten years later, however, “there seem to be no prospects that we will ever do business in Russia again”.
1903: A classic sleeping pill: Veronal
Chemist Emil Fischer and physician Joseph von Mehring discover diethylbarbituric acid, an effective hypnotic agent, and in 1903 engage the company in Darmstadt as well as Bayer as development and manufacturing partners. Advertisement from 1912 shows the successful product from the collaboration.