Burroughs Wellcome & Co

Two Americans, Silas Mainville Burroughs and Henry Wellcome established a pharmaceutical company in 1880. At first, they acted as agents for other American companies. In 1883 they started manufacturing their own products and three years later established their first overseas branch in Melbourne, Australia.

The company continued to expand and in 1889 the Wellcome Production Centre was established in Dartford, Kent. As well as setting up the production centre, Henry Wellcome also set up several research laboratories where scientists worked on new products. In 1895 Silas Burroughs died, leaving the company to his partner, which continued to grow under the leadership of Henry Wellcome.

In 1896 the Wellcome Chemical Research Laboratories was created and by the end of the century the company was producing an extensive range of prepared medicines. Later in 1904 the company had its own farm growing plants used during the preparations of their medications. This was added to in 1905 when an Experimental Department was created to improve the company’s manufacturing processes.

In 1924 Henry Wellcome consolidated all his commercial and non-commercial interests under one corporate umbrella and created The Wellcome Foundation Limited.