Upjohn invented the first dissolvable pill and the means for its
mass production in 1884.
in Richland, Michigan, Upjohn grew up when medicines were commonly
administered in powdered form. Once pills were created, they were
not practical or effective since the outer shell was hard and
did not allow the stomach to digest them properly. By 1880, Upjohn
began developing a friable pill - a pill the thumb could crush
- that did not harden and dissolved easily in the stomach. In
1884 he invented a machine to mass-produce these pills with a
regulated dosage. In 1886, the Upjohn Pill and Granule Company
was established, producing these new pills on a massive scale.
The company would manufacture 186 different medications in pill
form over the next century. This dissolvable pill is similar to
what is in use today.
its name to the Upjohn Company, the company expanded its pills
into a full array of pharmaceutical products in 1902. A multi-billion
dollar business, the Upjohn Company was a leader in the pharmaceutical
industry for over 100 years. After Upjohn merged with Swedish-based
Pharmacia AB, renamed the Pharmacia Corporation in 1995, it was
purchased by Pfizer in 2002.
Vinton G. Cerf
Robert E. Kahn
Robert W. Gore
Richard M. Hoe
John H. Thomas