1904: Finished drug product from the industry
Due to the increasing complexity of obtaining and processing active ingredients, the production of pharmaceuticals shifts more and more from pharmacies to factories. A visible sign of this process is the creation of sample kits showing the range of tablets and pills.
Liquid crystals: The cooperation with the discoverer Otto Lehmann begins.
In 1904, physicist Otto Lehmann discovers a new a state of matter: liquid crystals. Price lists from Darmstadt, which include substances with liquid crystalline properties, lead to productive contacts. The research field will offer unimagined possibilities 60 years later.
In 1904, the production of sorbents for chromatography begins
One year after the separation principle had been described for the first time, cooperation with Hans Wislicenus begins – the photo is his drawing of a test set-up. The world’s first industrially produced stationary phase, an “aluminum oxide for adsorption analytical purposes” is developed.
The workers’ housing estate
In summer 1906, the first workers move into the row houses of the workers’ housing estate on the site premises – the photo was taken in 1912. Normally they were allotted two to three rooms plus a small front- and backyard. At 150 marks per year, the rent is low.
1906: The “community of interests”
The companies E. Merck, Darmstadt, Germany, Boehringer, Knoll, and Gehe agree to cooperate, in 1907 Riedel joins them. The joint use of production processes, rationalization of the product range and more favorable purchasing terms for raw materials are the objectives.
1920: The new administration building in Darmstadt
In 1920, the commercial departments move into the administration building designed by Heinrich Walbe (photo from 1928). Stylistically, the building represents traditionally architecture of the period before 1914. Its features include the entrance, which is decorated with an impressive facade design.
1915: Compressed tablets and ampoules: “reliable, comfortable and inexpensive”
In 1915, following the combination of the community of interests in 1906, a range of finished drug products is commercialized under the MBK trademark. “Tablets” and “ampoules” are an outstanding success. In the first few years, production rose from 64.5 to 168.5 million.
Transport to the United States via a merchant submarine
With the start of World War I, E. Merck’s, Darmstadt, Germany, export business virtually comes to a standstill. Blockades obstruct export possibilities. In 1916, a shipment of goods takes an unusual route to the United States.