Burroughs Wellcome & Co's "Tabloid"

These sample bottles of "Tabloid" compressed pills can be seen in the St. Thomas' Hospital's old Herb Garret in London.

"When Burroughs Wellcome & Co was formed in 1880, they mostly marketed other companies' pharmaceutical products. That they quickly became a manufacturing business in their own right owed a great to both technological developments and their canny marketing skills. By the 1880s, drug production had become mechanised: machines could now compress a set quantity of powder into tablet form, which resulted in a much more reliable product. To market Burroughs Wellcome & Co's compressed pills, Henry Wellcome invented the brand name 'Tabloid', registering it as a trademark term in 1884. The 'Tabloid' name was applied to the full range of the company's products, from the medicinal ('Tabloid' First Aid kits and medicine chests) to the chemical ('Tabloid' photographic developer) to the restorative ('Tabloid' Tea). The company sued other manufacturers who used the term, but the word 'tabloid' soon became part of everyday conversation. Burroughs Wellcome & Co products were, though, a mix of the cosmetic and the curative. Beauty products and health tonics were produced as well as more medicinal products"1.

  • Photo by ti.supmacinu|ihgrob.l#ihgroB acuL (July 2011), courtesy of "The Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret"'s curator.

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