Lloyd Brothers, Pharmacists, Inc.

Lloyd Brothers, Pharmacists, Inc., got its start when John Uri Lloyd bought out H. M. Merrell and his John Uri, Nelson Ashley, and Curtis Gates Lloydpartner, T. C. Thorpe. In 1885, younger brothers N(elson) Ashley and Curtis Gates, having both completed pharmacy apprenticeships, were brought into the business. Lloyd Brothers was born. The company lasted some 40 odd years, and each of the brothers made a unique contribution to the firm. Ashley was the business manager, handling every financial aspect of the company. Curtis, who had extensive expertise in botany, served as the company's field representative. Both served in their respective capacities until their deaths in 1926. John served as chief researcher and developer of pharmaceutical products and was considered the patriarch of the firm. With these diversified roles, however, the company was an efficient and effective unit, making them one of the most profitable and recognized manufactures of botanical medicines of the time.

Botanicals formed an important part of the active mateia medica throughout the 19th century. They were extremely popular: the 1885 Parke, Davis & Company catalog lists 494 botanical fluidextracts (concentrated preparation of a vegetable drug in an alcohol solution). By comparison, Lloyd Brothers manufactured 835 fluidextracts in 1884. However, the mainstay of their business was the Specific Medicines.

The Specific Medicines were an extremely popular line of eclectic medicines designed for pharmacists who were compounding prescriptions for physicians. They were the hallmark production of Lloyd Brothers and much attention was devoted to their development.

A basic definition for Lloyd Specifics is that they were, with rare exception, highly concentrated, unofficial tinctures (approximately eight times the strength of most official tinctures) of plant constituents extracted by maceration or percolation. John Lloyd was careful to point out that his Specifics were not the same as true fluidextrants. Specific Medicines were not necessarily alcoholic botanicals, for a few in the list were chemicals, including inorganic acids and salts, and a few were dry alkaloids of American drugs of established value.

Whatever their composition, however, the Specific Medicines and the pharmaceutical company were tied closely with the Eclectic Medical College in Cincinnati and to Eclectic Medicine in general. Most of the Specific Medicines were made for use by Eclectic physicians and were geared mostly toward their needs and patients.

Lloyd Brothers continued to manufacture a line of botanical drugs well into the 20th century. In 1938, S. B. Penick purchased the firm from the Lloyd estate, where it continued to manufacture its products largely unchanged from the original Lloyd formulas. In 1956, what had become Lloyd and Dabney was bought by the Westerfield company, becoming Lloyd, Dabney & Westerfield. In 1960, the German pharmaceutical manufacturer, Hoechst, purchased the company for the sum of $4 million, changed the name, and moved and upgraded the operations.

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