Ref NoWBA/BT/9
TitleProduct Development
DescriptionCollection of papers relating to the Production Development function of the business. Contains minutes of departmental meetings, production reports, product development files, product formulations, advertising and oral history accounts. The catalogue is in the process of being updated and additional entries for this function are anticipated.
LevelFunction
Administrative HistoryBoots Pure Drug Company began manufacturing in 1888 at the Island Street site, which heralded the way for production on a 'large scale'. A local newspaper report in 1892 commented on the testing and distilling procedures carried out at Island Street factory by highly skilled chemists. The first analytical chemist, T F Harvey, was appointed in 1895.

The establishment of the Chemical manufacturing Section in 1915, meant the company could gain access to fine chemicals which had become unobtainable during the war. The Chemical Department produced drugs and pharmaceuticals, Medical Products, and a range of Fine Chemicals for sale in bulk. Early productions included salicyclic acid, aspiring, chloroform, Glauber's salt, phencetin, formaldehyde, alkaloids, and saccharin. Boots began manufacturing insulin under licence in 1923.

In 1933, the analytical laboratory relocated to a new laboratory in D10. There were 5 divisions: general drug control, raw vegetable drugs, finished pharmaceutical preparations, toilet preparations, and general investigations. The department also included special investigations and containers sections, bringing the total staff to 80 people.

In 1935, part of the Chemical Department was transferred to the Beeston site and the manufacture of Potassium Permanganate began, during World War II the department expanded from 300 to 1,500 members of staff. Research and Fine Chemicals under Mr G F Hall remained at Island Street until 1941 when the premises were bombed.

In 1949, Dr D G Garratt was appointed Chief Analyst, and reorganised the laboratories, re-naming it the Standards Department.
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