In 1888, Burroughs Wellcome & Co. developed a new machine that could produce 600 compressed pills a minute, each pill having an unprecedented standard of precision. To eliminate the threat of competition the company registered as a trademark one of the most famous and powerful brand names in business history Tabloid, a word created by blending the words tablet and alkaloid – to denote the company's pills. The name was applied to the full range of the company's products, including tabloid first aid kits and medicine chests, tabloid photographic developer and even tabloid tea. The term has now passed into general use to mean anything in compact form, in particular a newspaper format, though it is still technically the property of Burroughs Wellcome & Co.
Silas Burroughs died in 1895, leaving the company in the hands of his partner. The business flourished under Henry Wellcome's leadership, expanding massively and setting up several research laboratories which employed some of the most outstanding scientists of the day.
In 1995, Wellcome merged with Glaxo to form Glaxo Wellcome plc. The company merged with SmithKline Beecham in 2000 to form GlaxoSmithKline which is currently the fourth largest pharmaceutical company in the world.
Burroughs Wellcome & Co. Head Office, Snow Hill, London, 1880s
by Mark Matlach
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