amUSIngArtifacts

Taking Care of Business: Mead Johnson

*Post written by James Wethington, library assistant of the University Archives and Special Collections.

Over the next several weeks, we are going to focus on various Evansville businesses. Businesses come and go throughout the years and Evansville has had their fair share of businesses. One prominent business is Mead Johnson: a world-renowned pediatric nutrition and health products.

In 1905, Edward Mead Johnson, founder of Mead Johnson, first created the company in Jersey City, New Jersey after he left his previous company, Johnson and Johnson. Their first successful product was Caroid, a digestive aid (Mead Johnson Corporation, 2017). Mead Johnson continued having successful products such as Dextrilactic-Powder and Dextri-Maltose. Dextri-Maltose became a staple product for Mead Johnson because it was a “… carbohydrate powder designed to be mixed with milk”; moreover, by 1915, Mead Johnson moved their headquarters to Evansville, Indiana, where they still exist today (Mead Johnson Corporation, 2017).

Mead Johnson plant, 1931. Source: Evansville Museum collection, MSS 228-2013.

Though Mead Johnson moved to Evansville, Indiana, they continued to creating groundbreaking products such as Casec, Sobee, Olac, Metrecal, Nutramigen, Lofenalac, and many more; however, Enfamil was the staple product for Mead Johnson. Enfamil was created in 1959 and it was “… designed to be patterned after the nutritional composition of breast milk [; however,] in 1964, Nursette bottles revolutionized infant feeding in the U.S. by providing Enfamil in new ready-to-go bottles, sterilized nipples” (Patton, n.d.; Mead Johnson Corporation, 2017).

Aerial view of Mead Johnson, 1961. Source: John Doane Collection, MSS 022-1598.

Mead Johnson continued to grow over the following years and expanded facilities in Mexico, the Philippines, and in Europe; however, in 1967, Bristol-Myers acquired Mead Johnson until they separated in 2009 (Patton, n.d.). Today, Mead Johnson is still on the forefront of pediatric nutrition breakthroughs and stands for “…developing and providing innovative high-quality products in support of our mission to nourish the world’s children for the best start in life” (Patton, n.d.).

The University Archives and Special Collections have numerous photographs of Mead Johnson available online. We have several collections focusing on medicine such as Helen Milner, John Kime, Visiting Nurse Association of Southwestern Indiana, and many more. Stay tuned!

References

Mead Johnson Corporation (2017). Our history. Retrieved from http://www.meadjohnson.com/company/our-history

Patton, E. (n.d.). First steps. Retrieved from http://www.evansvilleliving.com/articles/first-steps-mead-johnson