PDE History

PDE The First 100 Years by Charles E. Vanderkleed Historian (1961)

A Brief History of the First One Hundred Years of the Philadelphia Drug Exchange by Charles E. Vanderkleed, Historian (1961)

When the dawn ushered in the memorable year of 1861, the sinister clouds of the War between the States were hovering ominously over our land. The problems of slavery and States’ rights threatened to disrupt our nation, and our beloved President, Abraham Lincoln, was devotedly trying to avert the rapidly approaching catastrophe. Under such conditions was born the Philadelphia Drug Exchange.

It became apparent to a group of Philadelphia wholesale druggists and chemical manufacturers that in order to survive the coming storm, friendship and cooperation must supersede the rivalry, jealousy and enmity that then existed between them. The members from this group were representatives of

George H. Ashton John C. Baker and Co.

French, Richards, and Co.

A.F. Hagard and Co. John M. Maris and Co. David L. Miller, Jr. John L. O’Neal

T. Morris Perot and Co. Robert Shoemaker and Co. George K. Smith and Co. John P. Wetherill

William M. Wilson Peter T. Wright and Co.

who met, and sent out a call for a meeting to organize a “Society” for the purpose of establishing a “more direct association with each other for the sale and exchange of drugs.” In response to this call, twenty-one representatives of the drug trade met at the Merchants Hotel January 22, 1861, where the Philadelphia Drug Exchange was born.

This type of organization was not new. Indeed, its origin can be traced back in England to the ninth century when merchant “guilds” or organizations of firms or business establishments were created, and to the fourteenth century when craft “guilds” or organizations of workers in a particular field were established.

The former type of merchant guild has come down to us in the form of such organizations as the National Wholesale Druggists Association and the Philadelphia Drug Exchange, while the craft guilds have led down to such present-day organizations as the trade unions – the American Federation of Labor, the Steel Workers Union, the Teamsters Union, etc.

Although the call for this memorable meeting stated that its purpose was to form a “Society,” it was unusual that the name adopted for it should include the “Exchange” which already occurred in the titles of several other civic-minded and industrial Philadelphia organizations. The physical exchange or bartering of goods was not uncommon one hundred years ago, particularly when the approaching war threatened to disrupt shipping from abroad. Moreover, the choice of a title seemed doubly appropriate when not only

the exchange of goods, but also the even more important exchange of ideas and the promotion of friendship and cooperation was involved.

At this organization meeting, Mr. John M. Maris was called to the chair and Mr. James Palmer appointed Secretary pro tem, and there as then introduced a suggested “Preamble and Resolutions” in which the salient points included the following items:

  1. The adoption of the title “Philadelphia Drug Exchange.”

  2. The membership to consist of none but wholesale and jobbing druggists, importers of drugs, manufacturing chemists, drug brokers and manufacturers of articles connected with said trade who are not retailers.

  3. The election of seven directors, a secretary and a treasurer to serve for one year; they to elect a president and vice president.

  4. That the elected officers and directors rent a suitable room as headquarters for the Exchange.

  5. That all eligible persons or firms who shall subscribe to these resolutions within ten days shall become charter members without initiation fee.

  6. That the officers and directors proceed to draft a Constitution and Bylaws for the organization.

  7. That all charter members pay into the treasury the sum of five dollars to defray the expenses of the coming year.

  8. That the annual dues, payable in advance, shall be ten dollars.

This” Preamble and Resolutions” was unanimously approved by the twenty-one representatives present. An election was held, resulting in the selection of the following directors, a secretary and a treasurer.

For Directors –

John M. Maris M.G. Rosengarten,

John L. O’Neal George H. Ashton,

Thomas P. James Charles H. Sharpe, Clayton French

For Secretary –

James Palmer

For Treasurer –

H. S. Zeigler.

The duly elected Board of Directors then met and chose For President –

John M. Maris

For Vice President –

Thomas P. James

Working fast, the Board met at Ashton’s store on January 30, 1861, and drew up a Constitution and Bylaws which, in addition to the usual specifications of such an article, provided for an initiation fee of ten dollars, in addition to the annual dues, and that one vote only be permitted to the representatives of each firm. At his January 30 meeting, a most important action was taken in the matter of selection of headquarters for the Exchange. After an exhaustive search and inspection of available locations, a committee reported favorably on rooms at 17 South Third Street, which report was adopted. As an example of the importance of a headquarters for the transaction of business between the two members, it was decided that desks were to be provided for rental at $20 per year for those desiring them. The arrangement was greatly appreciated for many years, until the advent of the telephone in 1878 rendered this use obsolete. These rooms continued to be the headquarters for 34 years. The Board met on March 13, 1895, in their new location in the newly built Philadelphia Bourse, where they continued to meet until 1940. The headquarters was then moved to a room at 505 Arch Street but was used only as a storage for archives and other possessions of value, such as a complete set of photographs of all former presidents of the Exchange.

From 1940 until the present time, Board and Annual Meetings have been held in the Downtown Club at Sixth and Chestnut Streets, and all social functions either there or in various Philadelphia Hotels. In 1957, The Arch Street room was abandoned and the Secretary, Mr. J. Mervin Rosenberger, took over as custodian. This duty, as well as his many years as secretary, has earned him the respected title of “Mr. Drug Exchange.”

The first regular meeting of the Board of Directors was held on February 2, 1861, at which time the Constitution and Bylaws proposed at the meeting on January 30 were adopted with minor changes.

A perusal of the minutes of the early meetings of the Exchange throws many a side light on the habits and customs of our distinguished predecessors. For examples, the committee charged with the fitting up of the newly rented rooms submitted a bill for

Coals – $4.50 Furniture – $49.37 Spittoons – $2.20

from which may be deduced that 17 South Third Street had no central heating plant, that $49.37 went many times farther in providing adequate furniture for a club room than it would today, and that the succulent properties of our native tobacco were appreciated almost on a par with its smoking pleasure. The latter truth is emphasized by the fact that at the next meeting of the Board a bill for $1.87 was presented for additional spittoons. That the spirit of the new organization was serious and businesslike, however, is shown by their adoption of a rules that absence from three successive Board meetings might cause dismissal of the offending member. And, if a Board member was as much as ten minutes late at a meeting, he was fined

$1.00. At a Board meeting on February 9, 1865, Mr. William M. Wilson was fined twenty-five cents for placing his feet during the meeting somewhat higher than was recognized by the rules of the Association. But whether this was an indication of seriousness or merely a sign of hilarity in anticipation of the ending of the war can only be conjectured.

At a special meeting of the Exchange on April 10, 1861, Articles of Incorporation were drawn up and presented to the legislature of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for a charter which was subsequently granted on April 5, 1862.

Incidentally, it is interesting to know that all minutes of the Board and minutes of the Annual Meetings from 1861 to 1909, a period of 48 years, are recorded in voluminous ledgers in

beautiful Spencerian longhand by their respective secretaries. Evidently, the typing of reports had not yet become common practice. Recently all existing records of the Exchange have been microfilmed for safekeeping.

Over a long period of years, the buying selling and bartering of merchandise was carried on by the members of the Exchange on a common meeting ground, but no records of such transactions are available since all were treated as confidential an of no concern to the Association as a whole.

The Exchange and Legislation

Since the official activities of the exchange can be classified under several distinct categories, it is deemed logical to review them under their respective headings rather than in strictly chronological order. First, therefore, must be presented a brief review of actions taken over the years concerning the Exchange’s most important function, namely, its interest in and influence on legislation – national, state and local.

Whenever it was deemed appropriate, committees were appointed to appear personally at congressional and legislative hearings. The reports of these committees throw a clear side light on the history, not only of the Exchange, but also upon the sequence and progress of drug legislation in the entire nation. And, in order to present logically the relationship of legislation to Philadelphia Drug Exchange action, the general subject must be divided into several subdivisions, of which the Federal Tariff comes first.

At a special meeting of the exchange on February 14, 1861, the merits of the Morrill Tariff Bill in the Congress of the United States was thoroughly pointed out and its passage recommended. As this was the first action taken on legislative matters, it is deemed appropriate to examine its report on the merits of this bill, which is typical of the dignified and generally effective manner in which the memorialization of Congress and the State Legislature was conducted throughout the years. This one-hundred-year-old report also illustrates the total dissimilarity of the material medica of that period to that of today.

The following, therefore, is an exact reproduction of this first committee report copied from the original minutes of the above mentioned meeting.

Your Committee, feeling the importance of an adequate rate of duty on importations, not only to furnish a sufficient revenue for the country, but at the same time to afford incidental protection to miners, manufacturers and citizens, suggest that this association memorialize Congress, asking the passage of such a bill as will accomplish these objects, believing that the true intent and meaning of this association in approaching this Committee, was to have a thorough examination of the Bill now before Congress known as the Morrill Tariff Bill. They have performed that duty as thoroughly as the limited time allotted them would enable them to do; confining, however, their investigations chiefly to those articles connected directly or indirectly with their different branches of business.

Knowing that this association is composed of members holding opposite political principles, nothing in their action on this subject is to be construed into a surrender of their views in regard to the best mode of collecting a revenue for the support of the government. The embarrassed state of the treasury, together with the unparalleled depression of trade throughout the land, render it absolutely necessary that some mode by which these evils may be remedied should be adopted. We therefore recommend the passage of the Morrill Tariff Bill, with the following amendments:

First, we would recommend that the duty upon opium should be seventy-five cents per pound instead of one dollar and twenty-five cents as recommended. These articles have become so essential to the happiness as well as to the lives of the human race, that we regard it important that they should be taxed at the lowest practical rate of duty.

Second, we find quicksilver taxed 20 per cent and calomel and red precipitate 10 per cent. As the basis of both these medicinal agents is quicksilver, we think the rates of duty ought to be reversed in order to protect the American manufacturer, and all mercurials put in the same class.

Aloes, amber, ambergris, anise seed, asafoetida, cantharides, gamboge, ipecac and jalap it is proposed to admit free. These articles are imported in considerable quantities and largely consumed, but as the consumption is so generally distributed, we think that a duty of 15 per cent would not be objectionable to the trade. Carbonate of magnesia is assessed at 20 per cent while calcined is only rated at 10 per cent. There are several parties engaged in calcining magnesia in this country, and we think their interests ought to be fostered and protected in this comparatively new enterprise.

The duty on cloves is proposed to be 40 per cent and the oil of cloves 30 per cent. We suggest the propriety of lowering the duty on the crude article or increasing the duty on the manufactured article. As refined camphor has, during the past 20 years, varied from 18 cents to $1.25 per lb., we suggest the propriety of an advalorem duty to the extent of 20 per cent on this article.

We suggest the following rate of duties as suitable for vials and bottles: Apothecaries’ vials and bottles, not exceeding the capacity of six ounces each, $1.00 per gross. Exceeding six ounces and not exceeding 16 ounces each, $1.50 per gross. Vials and bottles, perfumery and fancy uncut, not exceeding four ounces each, $1.50. Exceeding four ounces and not exceeding 16 ounces each,

$2.00. Bottles an jars, black and green, exceeding eight ounces and not exceeding one quart, each

$2.50. Exceeding the capacity of one quart, each $3.00. Demijohns and carboys of the capacity of half a gallon or less than one gallon, ten cents each. Exceeding in capacity one gallon and not exceeding three gallons, fifteen cents each. Exceeding three gallons, twenty-five cents each. All glass bottles, demijohns or carboys filled with any kind of liquid, to be charged at the above rate.

The balance of the bill meets the warm approval of the Committee.

We close this report by recommending that a committee of three be appointed to visit Washington to urge the passage of the tariff bill, with the modifications as embodied in our report.

On motion of Mr. John M. Maris, it was resolved that it is not to be understood that we wish to press these amendments at the risk of defeating the entire bill. The report thereupon was accepted and the following named gentlemen were appointed a committee to proceed to Washington, in compliance with recommendations of the report.

(Signed) Mr. John M. Whitall

Mr. M. G. Rosengarten Mr. Thomas H. Powers

with power to the Chairman of the meeting to appoint any gentleman to take the place of those that should decline serving on said committee.

On motion of Mr. Danl. L. Wilson the meeting then adjourned. (Signed) Mr. John Harrison


Over the years, constant surveillance over tariff matters was maintained, and the Exchange was always ready to protest any changes in duty rates that seemed unfair and discriminatory against the interests of the drug trade. For example, in 1878, the passage of a Wood Tariff Bill would have wrecked the production of many alkaloids and their salts in the United States because of a ridiculously inconsistent provision. This bill provided for a substantial duty on crude opium and cinchona bark, whereas morphine and quinine and their salts were to be admitted duty-free, which would not only render U.S. manufacture of these articles impossible but would destroy all Federal income from the duty on imports. The prompt objections of the Philadelphia Drug Exchange succeeded in averting this impending disaster.

The presidential campaign of 1884 marked the beginning of the struggle between the political parties over “Tariff for Revenue Only” and “Protection vs. Free Trade.” The directors of the Exchange, while maintaining a strict executive neutrality as between the two principal political parties, did not hesitate to demand that the interests of the drug industry be maintained. Throughout the century, the Exchange has succeeded in exerting a most effective influence on the subject of duties on drug importations.

As an illustration of the influence of the Exchange over Pennsylvania legislation, the following example from the late 19th century is typical of dozens of subsequent actions throughout the years. When a bill was introduced in 1876 to prohibit, under penalty of fine and imprisonment, druggists and dealers in medicinal products from rendering temporary aid or giving advice to those who from accident or otherwise might apply to them for relief, the Board of Directors took prompt action. The Directors arranged for notice to be printed in the daily papers calling for the attention of the trade as well as the general public to the importance of taking immediate steps to defeat its passage into law. The Governor and members of the legislature were written to, assigning reasons for the defeat of this bill and requesting their influence against it. Because of the arguments advanced by the Board and the influential position occupied by the Drug Exchange, together with the efforts made by the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, the bill was defeated.

Whereas the attitude of the Exchange toward tariffs throughout the century has been one of moderation, always looking toward the protection of the interests of the drug industry and favoring a maximum tariff compatible with reciprocal trade relations, the Exchange’s attitude toward excise taxes has always been antagonistic. As late as 1878, the members of the Philadelphia Drug Exchange petitioned Congress to abolish all excise taxes. They were first imposed on the citizens and businesses of the United States only to take care of exigencies of war emergencies and were always intended to be repealed when the emergency had ceased. The lamented the fact that, once levied, they almost inevitably remained continuously in effect, occasionally being decreased or increased at the whim of a vacillating Congress. Furthermore, they argued that since the revenue from tariffs alone had piled up such a tremendous surplus in the Federal Treasury, it constituted a menace that encouraged profligacy in unnecessary governmental spending.

The first official action of the Exchange in opposition to excise taxes was taken on December 2, 1867, when the Federal tax on distilled spirits was $2.00 per gallon. It was argued that a reduction to 50 cents per gallon would discourage the illicit production of alcohol, actually increase the federal income therefrom, and provide for a reduction in the cost to the sick of medicines containing alcohol.

A committee was appointed to go to Washington to present these views to Congress. The effort to secure a minimum or preferably no tax on alcohol for use in medicine and in the arts has been continued by the Exchange throughout the years. The Exchange’s effort achieved a degree of success with the establishment of the present complicated rebate system and the coming of tax-free denatured alcohol in 1875.

Opposition by the Exchange to the imposition of sales taxes, either by the use of stamps or by direct collection by the seller, not only on certain proprietary medicines and cosmetics, but also on many other articles considered as luxuries or nonessentials, and even on meals in restaurants, hotel bills, transportation, etc., has always been a losing game. In later years, not only the Federal Government but state and local authorities have adopted such means to provide the ever-increasing cost of government.

The first recorded reference to the consideration of Pure Food and Drug Legislation occurs in the minutes of a special meeting of the Exchange on May 20, 1882. A bill in the Federal Congress had passed the Senate and was under consideration in the House. After a reading of the proposed act and a general discussion thereon, the meeting declared that “a bill for such purpose is very much needed and earnestly desired by all honest druggists, importers and manufacturers, but that the wording and mode of carrying out the measures should be carefully considered beforehand and that the American Pharmaceutical Association, the College of Pharmacy, the State Pharmaceutical Association and the Drug Exchange are the proper sources from which such information can be obtained and that they should be consulted before the final passage of such a bill.” This bill was defeated, proving that the cooperation of the Exchange with the above named organizations was most effective. Such cooperation has continued and its effective influence on Congress has been demonstrated throughout the years.

For example, in 1890, a Senate bill “to prevent adulteration and misbranding food and drugs and the prevention of poisonous adulterations” was vigorously opposed by the Exchange, largely on the ground that it placed objectionable arbitrary powers in a proposed new division of the Department of Agriculture. At this time, Mr. Mahlon N. Kline, Chairman of the Committee on Legislation, assisted by Mr. Alexander H. Jones, Chairman of the Committee on Legislation of the national Wholesale Druggist Association, took a leading part in the opposition to this bill and continued to most ably represent the Exchange until a satisfactory solution of the problem was reached by the enactment of the first Pure Food and Drug Act on June 30, 1906.

During the quarter of a century when no less than 29 federal food and drug bills were defeated in Congress, it should be noted that the Philadelphia Drug Exchange never opposed the altruistic purpose for which such bills were proposed. Evidence of such support is shown by its resolution in 1882 that such bills were “very much needed and earnestly desired.” Most of the opposition to federal bills for taking over from the individual states the police power to regulate intrastate matters was based on the old controversy over States’ Rights. A striking example of the principle of States’ Rights vs. Federal Control is the opposition of the Exchange, endorsed by the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, to a proposed bill to permit federal seizure during transit of adulterated drugs. One thousand five hundred copies of the Exchange’s resolution opposing this bill were distributed and definitely contributed to its defeat. The reservation was carefully observed in the Act of 1906 by meticulously distinguishing between “inter” and “intra” state commerce.

Opposition to granting Congress powers that under the Constitution should be reserved to the states largely prevailed a half century ago as evidenced by the fact that the Pennsylvania Act to prohibit adulteration of foods and medicines was heartily approved by the exchange without criticism.

The Drug Exchange practically ended its concern with pure food and drug legislation with the passage of the Federal Act of 1906. Changes and amendments which were adopted from time to time aroused no opposition until 1934 when the notorious Tugwell Bill was proposed as a substitute for the 1906 Act.

Then, again the Exchange put on its fighting clothes and vigorously joined the entire drug industry in aiding the defeat of this unrealistic legislation. Four years later, the more reasonable and acceptable Copeland Bill was passed with the complete approval of the Exchange and the drug industry in general.

The endorsement of all altruistic laws looking toward the protection of the general public is perhaps best illustrated by its hearty support for the passage of the Harrison Narcotic Act in 1914 and its subsequent cooperation with Commissioner Harry J. Anslinger. In spite of the intricate and time-consuming record-

keeping and reporting required by this law, no objections to it were ever raised, and the Exchange participated effectively in having corresponding and coinciding laws passed in Pennsylvania and neighboring states.

Neither time nor space in this brief history permits a full account of all participation by the exchange in legislative matters since this function has occupied the number one place in its activities throughout its first one hundred years. Suffice it to say that these activities have ranged all the way from approval of, or objection to, such diverse subjects as the Monroe Doctrine, Free Silver, Postal, Tariff and Railroad rates, the status of pharmacists in the Army and Navy, Social Security and Fair Trade. Always keeping in mind the welfare and health of the general public and then the best interests of the drug industry, its actions have always been most altruistic and unassailable.

Illustrating this widespread interest, the following actions of the Exchange selected at random from its voluminous records might be mentioned.

In 1880, a federal law was enacted making it compulsory for wholesale houses, which sold alcohol to the drug industry for the manufacture of medicines, to display a sign designating them as a “Wholesale Liquor Dealer.” Vigorous continued opposition to this obnoxious regulation eventually resulted in its deletion.

In 1885, there already being an excise tax on all forms of tobacco (continued until the present day), the introduction of cubeb and cinnamon cigarettes caused the Exchange to seek tax exemption on the ground that they possessed medicinal properties and were so sold. This claim, however, was denied by the Treasury Department and the tax was continued.

In 1897, at a meeting of the Board of Directors, an agreement to fix prices on linseed oil was openly and unopposedly entered into by the Exchange. What a striking contrast with present-day antitrust laws enforced by the Federal Trade Commission!

The Exchange and Philadelphia

The Philadelphia Drug Exchange has always taken an active and conspicuous part in furthering the growth and improvement of the Philadelphia area, and participating in its historical and industrial celebrations.

From its inception in 1861, it established a cooperative relationship with the Philadelphia Board of Trade and later with other civic-minded organizations, all working together for the betterment, growth and prosperity of their home city, its port and its environment. No better example of the friendly relationship that existed between these organizations can be mentioned than on the occasion of a fire in our headquarters at 17 South Third Street, in May, 18070, resulting in $500 damage. No less than five of these sister “exchanges” and “boards” offered the use of their rooms while repairs were being made.

In the early days of the Exchange, it was not uncommon at the end of the year to find that a financial deficit existed which then had to be corrected by means of voluntary contributions from its charter members. For many years, this situation remained uncorrected because motions to increase the annual dues from $10.00 to $15.00 were voted down for fear of losing members. Many years later the dues were increased to $15.00 and in 1956 were raised to $25.00. That the members were not penuriously inclined, however is shown by their most sympathetic and generous attitude toward disasters not only local but nation-wide. The Exchange itself was not able to extend financial aid to sufferers from fires, floods, etc., but its individual members collected and contributed substantial sums for that purpose as shown by the following typical cases.

In 1871, the sum of $7,177.00 was sent for relief of sufferers of the Chicago fire. In 1873, $1736.55 was collected for Memphis and Shreveport flood sufferers.

In 1875, $190.00 was raised for clothing for victims of a fire in Osceola, Pa.

In 1880, a donation of $1,455.00 was sent to fire sufferers in Milton, Pa.

In 1883, the sum of $1955.00 was donated to Western flood victims and $702.00 was given on the occasion of a fire in Shenandoah, Pa.

In 1885, $710.00 was sent to relieve sufferers from a fire in Plymouth, Pa. In 1889, $2,739.50 was donated for victims of the Johnstown flood.

In later years, these “extracurricular” activities were largely curtailed, undoubtedly due to the rapidly increasing efficiency of the Red Cross and Federal Government aid.

Going back again to the memorable year 1876, when Philadelphia put on its internationally celebrated Centennial Exposition in Fairmount Park, the Exchange began to prepare for it a full year in advance. Of added interest, the American Pharmaceutical Association held its annual meeting that year in Philadelphia, and the Exchange anticipated that many members of the drug industry all over the country, as well as from abroad, would attend its meetings and visit the Exposition. The determination to serve as unofficial hosts to all of these visitors was most successfully carried out. A generous collection of more than $1,800.00 was taken to pay for a complete refurnishing and refurbishing of the rooms and invitations were extended to all drug industry visitors to make 17 South Third Street their headquarters while in Philadelphia.

Over the years, the Exchange has had a continuing interest in the welfare of the Philadelphia area and the improvement of the harbor and river facilities as an important port of entry and exit serving the entire nation. Its intensive support of legislation to provide for the removal of Smith and Windmill Islands in the middle of the Delaware River, a serious hindrance to navigation, was begun in 1888 and vigorously continued until its final accomplishment. The improvement of railroad facilities by the extension of bet freight lines to the piers along Delaware Avenue was a major objective.

A review of early minutes of the Exchange provides an interesting side light on may conditions and customs prevailing one hundred years ago. There were then no such tings as automobiles, electric lights and power, no telephones, airplanes, or even typewriters. In 1888, the Exchange extended the use of its rooms as a headquarters for the Philadelphia Bicycle Club. The use of bicycles as a means of personal transportation was by no means confined to “junior” but was largely used by the dignified “senior” executives of the drug trade.

The Exchange and Friendship

Second only in importance to the Drug Exchange’s interest in legislation is the fulfillment of its originally stated function to promote friendship and fraternal cooperation between its members. Thus, a recounting of its social and entertainment activities over the years is essential to the presentation of its all-round history.

These functions may be said to have begun on November 6, 1865, when the Board voted to provide

$100.00 for “entertainment” and “collation” at its coming annual meeting, specifying, however, that “no whiskey or brandy” was to be included in the menu. Obviously, however, this restriction did not indicate a spirit of abstention on the part of the Board members but applied only to the cost of such indulgence, as may be inferred from the menus of banquets soon to be inaugurated in later years. These luncheons at Board Annual Meetings have continued uninterruptedly until the present day and have contributed greatly to the furtherance of good fellowship among the members. On December 8, 1886, the Board appointed a committee to solicit subscriptions for a banquet to be held on the evening of the next Annual Meeting to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the incorporation of the Exchange. The more elaborate celebration was duly observed on February 22, 1887, at the Aldine Hotel with some 150 members and guests attending.

The ladies were not invited despite the modest subscription price of only $6.00 per ticket. The following menu was served.

Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of the Philadelphia Drug Exchange


Bl ue Point s Bar sac

Consomee Pr incesse Amont il l ado

Boil ed Rockf ish, Lobst er Sauce Pot at oes a l a Duchesse

Loin of Spr ing Lamb, M int Sauce St uf f ed Tomat oes

Ber muda Pot at oes M umm’s Ext r a Dr y Sw eet br ead Cr oquet t es Per igor d

N ew Peas

M ar cl aux ‘74

T er r apins

Roman Punch

R edhead Ducks

Cel er y Sal ad

Cheese and Cr acker s

Ice Cr eams


Fr uit s

Caf é


Al dine H ot el , Febr uar y 22, 1887

Probably never was so much provided for so little, even in those “good old days.”

Annual banquets have been a regular feature of Exchange activity ever since this initial affair in 1887. In recent years, they have been held in such attractive places as the Downtown Club, The Bellevue-Stratford, The Warwick, the Sheraton, etc. Music, dancing and prominent guest speakers, sometimes serious and sometimes amusing, have characterized these affairs which have been attended by many friends in the drug industry from New York, Baltimore and other eastern localities. Prominent among our speakers have been such men as the late Admiral Richard E. Byrd, the Honorable H.J. Anslinger and many others.

The occasional inclusion of the ladies at these banquets was inaugurated in 1925 when the president, Mr. Milton Campbell, established the custom of delivering a presidential address, a formality which later continued for a number of years.

The inauguration of another form of entertainment occurred on June 6, 1924, when the first Exchange outing was held at the Old York Road Country Club. A day of golf followed by a proverbial 19th hole cocktail hour, an excellent dinner with music and entertainment, and the distribution of golf and other prizes was the program for the day. This custom of a Spring Outing has been regularly continued and, on November 10, 1937, it was augmented by a Fall Outing as well. Among other Philadelphia area country clubs which have been our gracious hosts over the years may be mentioned Cedarbrook, Manufacturer’s, LuLu Temple, Huntingdon Valley, Aronomink, Llanerch and Whitemarsh.

In 1951, our past president, Mr. J. Mahlon Buck, established the trophy Golf Cup award, which has added much interest and zest to our semiannual tournaments.

A more serious side of Exchange activity was established in 1945 with the granting of the Procter Medal Award for distinguished services, in one way or another, to the dug industry. Named in honor of William Procter, Jr., the award consists of an appropriate citation and a gold medal embossed wit a true likeness of the “Father of American Pharmacy.”

The first recipient of the award on January 23, 1945 was Dr. Ivor Griffith, President and dean of the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and science. The second award was bestowed in 1946 upon Dr. Alfred Newton Richards, Vice President of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. The third recipient in 1948 was Dr. Charles E. Vanderkleed, retired Vice-President and Scientific Director of McNeil Laboratories, Inc. In 1951, the fourth award was bestowed on Dr. C. Mahlon Kline, Chairman of the Board

of Smith Kline & French Laboratories. In 1953, The Honorable Harry J. Anslinger, Federal Commissioner of Narcotics, became the fifth recipient of the award and, in 1960, Mr. Francis Boyer, Chairman of the Board of Smith Kline & French Laboratories, became the sixth and last to be so honored.

Another phase of recognition of performance, usually for services rendered to the Exchange, was inaugurated in 1880 by the granting of honorary memberships. Over the years, those so honored have been:

1880 George D. Rosengarten

1886 John M. Maris

1888 William J. Jenks

1889 Claudius B. Linn

1891 Robert Shoemaker

1891 William Weightman

1894 Edmund A. Crenshaw

1897 John Lucas

1903 Alexander H. Jones

1915 Richard M. Shoemaker

1921 Harry B. French

1922 Anthony M. Hance

1922 Clayton F. Shoemaker

1923 Charles H. LaWall

1925 Charles E. Hires

1928 Milton Campbell

1929 C. Mahlon Kline

1932 E. Fullerton Cook

1933 Herbert M. McIlvaine

1934 Benjamin S. Thorpe

1934 Wilmer C. Krusen

1937 John F. Belsterling

1939 Ivor Griffith

1944 Everett Kendig

1946 Alfred Newton Richards

1948 Charles E. Vanderkleed

1953 J. Mahlon Buck

And so endeth the first hundred years of the Philadelphia Drug Exchange. In these uncertain days of stress and strain no predictions for the second hundred years would seem possible, but as long as we maintain the specified goals for which our beloved organization was created, namely, the promulgation of just laws to further our altruistic ideals and the promotion of friendship and cooperation among our members, we can only forecast for our children’s great-grandchildren a rousing celebration on January 22, 2061.