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Records of William H. Rorer Incorporated


Held at: Science History Institute Archives [Contact Us]315 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Science History Institute Archives. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

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William H. Rorer founded his pharmaceutical company in Pennsylvania early in the 20th century. In 1950 his son Gerald F. Rorer assumed the presidency of the company and also became the company chairman. In was during Gerald's tenure that the staff chemists at Rorer discovered and developed the popular antacid treatment that came to be known as Maalox. This became a flagship drug for the company and a good source of profit. In 1968 Rorer merged his company with Amchem Products, Inc., a manufacturer of chemicals for agriculture. This move proved to have mixed blessings since Amchem lacked a steady source of income like Maalox and its profitability tended to run in cycles. In 1976 Gerald F. Rorer died and the company passed from family control.

For a more detailed inventory, please view this record in our library catalog:

This is fairly comprehensive set of production records detailing William H. Rorer , Inc.'s output of various drugs for the period 1913 to 1989. There is a special concentration upon the over-the-counter antacid medication Maalox which was Rorer's flagship product.

Organized into four series: I.1993; II.1994; III.1995 IV.1996. Series

The highpoint of the collection are the formulary cards. These give not only the make-up of the drug, but detailed instructions for producing it in mass quantities and the record of when each batch was manufactured, thus providing a life-cycle record for each Rorer product covered. The collection also contains developmental logs (including one for Rorer's most popular product, the over-the-counter antacid medication Maalox), product catalogs, a custom formulary organized by individual physician and check-out books for the formulary cards.

Donated by Kim Taeger, Director - Curator, Marvin Samson Center for the History of Pharmacy, University of the Sciences Philadelphia.

Source of acquisition--University of the Sciences. Method of acquisition--gift;; Date of acquisition--2003..

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