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Schieffelin & Co. records

1796-1828 1947
 Collection
Accession: 2055

Abstract

Scheiffelin & Co. was a leading pharmaceutical and liquor-importing house in New York City. The records consist of a fragmentary series of account books from the firm of H.H. Schieffelin & Co. and its predecessors. Record types include day books, journals, order books, invoice books, and inventories, all documenting the importation and resale of drugs in use in the early nineteenth century.

Dates

  • 1796-1828
  • 1947

Creator

Extent

2 Linear Feet (13 volumes)

Historical Note

Scheiffelin & Co. was a leading pharmaceutical and liquor-importing house in New York City. The business was founded by Effingham Lawrence (1760-1800) in 1781 and taken over by his brothers-in-law, John B. Lawrence (1774-1844) and Jacob Schieffelin (1757-1865) in 1794. The firm descended through the Schieffelin family and was variously styled: Jacob Schieffelin (1799-1805); Jacob Schieffelin & Son (1805-1814); H.H. Schieffelin & Co. (1814-1849); Schieffelin Brothers & Co. (1849-1865); W.H. Schieffelin & Co. (1865-1895); and Schieffelin & Co. (post-1895). The firm was incorporated as Schieffelin & Co. on May 5, 1903.

The company was a leading importer and wholesaler of drugs and cosmetics. During Prohibition, alcohol was classed as a drug, and Schieffelin & Co. became a major importer of "medicinal" wines and brandies. Having established expertise in this line, the company remained in the liquor-importing business after repeal, serving as the American agent for foreign scotch, rum, and other wines and spirits. This eventually became the company's sole business after the company ended its pharmaceutical business in 1962. Scheiffelin & Co. was acquired by Moët-Hennessy in 1980. In 1987, Moët-Hennessy and Guinness merged Schieffelin with Somerset Importers Ltd. to create Schieffelin & Somerset as a joint venture.

Scope and Contents

The records consist of a fragmentary series of account books from the firm of H.H. Schieffelin & Co. and its predecessors. Record types include day books, journals, order books, invoice books, and inventories, all documenting the importation and resale of drugs in use in the early nineteenth century. Also included is a 1947 Yale College thesis by William Jay Schieffelin III (1922-1989), "The history and development of the oldest drug house in America, Schieffelin & Co., from 1781 to 1946." The thesis focuses on the mid-twentieth century history of the firm and includes extracts from original documents.

Access Restrictions

No restrictions on access; this collection is open for research.

Language of Materials

English


Additional Information

Related Names

Creator

Finding Aid & Administrative Information

Title:
Schieffelin & Co. records
Status:
Description rules:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description:
English
Script of description:
Latin

Revision Statements

  • 2022: Encoded by Angela Schad

Repository Details

Repository Details

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

Contact:
PO Box 3630
Wilmington Delaware 19807 USA
302-658-2400