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noticed an extensive and methodically arranged stock of nearly all descriptions, set apart for the most convenient putting up of orders, the routine being somewhat as follows: Orders are received by letter or person; they are entered on order-books, of which some forty are in constant use ; then delivered to the packers, by whom they are put up and placed on their appropriate counters; then carefully called off, and, if found correct, packed for shipment.
Two sections are for City orders, large and small, and one for Country orders, different sets of books being kept for each. Those for the city are delivered on William Street, and those for the country on Beekman. The carting is done by five teams, the city expresses making two trips a day, while the others are kept active all day long. About thirty-five experienced persons are generally employed on this one floor, all engaged exclusively in special descriptions of work, which they thus perform in the most faithful and methodical manner. Orders are filled for all parts of the United States, West Indies, Canada and other Provinces, and large quantities of goods are also exported to Europe, such as Oil of Peppermint, Extract of Logwood, and other strictly American productions. There is a division of this floor, under a competent superintendent, specially devoted to all Essential Oils, Extracts, Tinctures, Syrups, Medicated Spirits, &c., and here we saw rows of Tin Cans, some of which held 150 gallons, containing such Oils as Olive, Castor, Linseed, Neatsfoot, Sperm, Lard, Rape Seed, Cod Liver, Cedar, Hemlock and Spruce ; Alcohol, Balsam of Copaiva, Spirits of Turpentine, Barbadoes Tar, and Bay Rum, in wood. Closets, all numbered, stretch along the walls in rows, and intersect the counters, containing one-pound bottles of Essential Oils, here put up, as also Extracts and Powders, in quarter, half and pound bottles, alphabetically arranged ; one row of capacious closets filled entirely with clean empty bottles, the cleaning of which alone employs a man constantly.
We should here state that several of the employés of this establishment, arz practical chemists, and fully understand the manipulations of the various pharmaceutical preparations ; so that when they send out a tincture, here prepared, they are sure it is correctly prepared, according to the Pharmacopoeia.
On this floor also is the Chemical Department, for the supply of all chemicals to order, embracing the finer pharmaceutical preparations and chemicals, inclusive of all the articles prepared by Dr. Squibb, the celebrated practical manufacturing chemist, of Brooklyn. All those articles are recorded in books, according to their chemical bases, and are designated by name, number of closet, and name of manu. facturer, such as Powers & Weightman, Rosengarten & Sons, Merck, and others. Here also are kept Eclectic Medicines, such as those made by Keith of New York, Merrell of Cincinnati, &c.
THE THIRD FLOOR.
of this model drug warehouse is set apart for the stock of Powders, of all kinds, in full packages, and such other characteristic commodities as Proprietary or Patent Medicines, Pressed or Shakers' Herbs, Wedgewood and Porcelain Mortars, Funnels, Evaporating Dishes, Jars, Gallipots, Graduated Glasses, and Pill-Tiles. Here also are about Three Hundred open barrels of Drugs and Medicines, numerous kegs and boxes of the same, and two enormous Filtering Cans for filtering Cod Liver and Castor Oils, receiving about four barrels of each at a time. Two or three barrels of Cod Liver Oil can be drawn off in a day, by pipes communicating with the Oil Room below.
THE FOURTH FLOOR
is the region of Spices, such as Anise Seed, Cassia Buds, Mace, Pimento, Pepper, Nutmegs, et id genus omnes. Calabria Licorice, Saffron, Rhubarb, and all the East India goods are stored here.
THE FIFTH FLOOR
is for the vast assortment of Medical Roots, Herbs and Flowers, chiefly imported, such as Malva, Lavender, Belladonna, Poppy, Digitalis, Hyosciamus, Wormwood, Taraxacum, Galangal, Seneca, Sarsaparilla, Licorice, Pink and Snake Root. There is also in this story a very spacious Sifting Room, containing several large and improved Sifting Machines, for the separation of dust, gravel, twigs and other rubbish from medical leaves, seeds and gums. By one of these machines an entire bale of Senna, weighing four hundred pounds, can be sifted perfectly clean in a day-a work which by the old process of sifting required a week.
THE SIXTH FLOOR . is chiefly occupied by an extensive and varied assortment of Apothecaries' Empty Glass Ware, imported, and American Pill Boxes, Lamp Black, Twines and light merchandise generally. A separate apartment contains a vast stock of Senna, Sarsaparilla, Mustard Seed, Magnesia, and Corks of all kinds. Adjoining this is a Test Room, where many goods are subjected to chemical tests, to ascertain heir degreet of purity when first brought to the store—such as Essential Oils, Chemicals, Gums, &c.
Vast as is the capacity of this building, it does not suffice for the wants of the house, nor would it be prudent for them to store their entire stock in one building; and they have therefore for many years, had a separate storage warehouse, five stories in height, in another part of the city, for the storage of goods in original packages; and this also is exclusive of the large quantities of their imported stock, stored in the United States Bonded Warehouses in different parts of the city.
On every floor of their establishment on William Street, are large tanks of water, with leather buckets always hanging over them; and an auxiliary provision against the contingency of fire is soon to be added, fire hose being already in the building, and ready to be connected with the steam engine in the premises below.
In conclusion we have only to say that after our careful and thorough inspection of this warehouse, from sub-cellar to the roof, we are satisfied that the high reputation, for so many years enjoyed by its proprietors, is a just one, and their prosperity no more than commensurate with their merits. The caution, method, order and experience, which distinguish this establishment above all others of its kind, are guarantees to purchasers that there they will get all the goods as represented—a fact of importance to the medical fraternity-for it is not too much to presume that many a physician has failed in his treatment of a case, only by the adulteration of a drug or compound, which he administered in the thought that it was pure.
McKESSON & ROBBINS,
Importers and Jobbers of
This house was established in January, 1833, by Mr. Charles M. Olcott and John McKesson, under the firm name of “Olcott & McKesson,” at 145 Maiden Lane, between Water and Front Streets, in New York.
Charles M. Olcott was educated as an Apothecary, but had served as clerk, for some four years, in the jobbing-house of Warner, Prall & Ray, in Maiden Lane, which was at that time, and for many subsequent years, the center of the Jobbing Drug business.
Preceding the formation of this partnership, Mr. Olcott had been conducting, for some five years, a very successful business as an Apothecary, which had grown into a semi-jobbing business, on the corner of Madison and Catherine Streets, near Pearl, which was, at that time, a good location for both purposes, as the wholesale business of New York was developed from the retail trade, which was at that period mainly centered in or near Catherine Street; and the jobbing trade, which grew out of this, pushed its way through Pearl Street, from Chatham Street to Peck Slip, and thence downward toward the Battery, on the East River side, from whence it entered and crossed Broadway, and moved up on the west side of the City.
John McKesson, at the same period, was associated !with John H. Currie-afterwards a prominent Chemist—and John M. Bradhurst, one of the oldest Druggists in the trade, in the retail and jobbing business, at the corner of Peck Slip and Pearl Street, under the firm name of “ J. M. Bradhurst & Co.,” in the old stand which Mr. Bradhurst had occupied for about fifty years. Mr. McKesson's connection with Mr. Bradhurst began in 1821. These partners began business by purchasing the stock of goods, fixtures, and lease of store-house, No. 145 Maiden Lane, of U. H. Levy, who was about retiring from the jobbing business; and Mr. Daniel C. Robbins, of the present firm, was engaged as assistant clerk, on the first of April following-having previously served six years in the Apothecary business, for the pursuit of which he had fully prepared himself.
The firm of Olcott & McKesson, in the autumn of 1835, purchased the entire stock and business of William N. Clark & Co., one of the oldest and most respectable houses in the trade, who were retiring from business, and took into partnership the junior partner of the house, Philip Schieffelin, unger the firm name of “Olcott, McKesson & Co.” This partnership continued for about five years, until January 1st, 1841, when Mr. Schieffelin withdrew, and established the house of Philip Schieffelin & Co., as successors to the Bradhursts, who retired from business; and Mr. Robbins was admitted as a partner, in Mr. Schieffelin's place, under the same firm name of “Olcott, McKesson & Co.” The new partnership commenced business by purchasing the entire stock of David Prall, formerly “Warner, Prall & Ray,” in Maiden Lane, who was about retiring; and in the following year they purchased the building and lot 127 Maiden Lane, to which they moved on the 1st of May, 1842. This warehouse, with stock and fixtures, was entirely consumed by fire, on the 2d of July, 1850, but was subsequently rebuilt, and arranged for the Drug business; and a new partnership was established, by the same parties, as “Olcott, McKesson & Robbins."
Mr. Olcott died in August, 1853, and the business was continued by Messrs. McKesson & Robbins, which is the present style, or firm name, of the house.