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Warner Company (Warner-Lambert Predecessor)


SKU: 3566
Product Details

Beautifully engraved antique stock certificate from the Warner Company dating back to the 1960's. This document, which carries the printed signatures of the company President and Treasurer, was a printed by the Security-Columbian Bank Note Company, and measures approximately 12" (w) by 8" (h).


This certificate's intricate vignette features busts of John Warner and William Warner flanking the company's original dockside outpost.

You will receive the exact certificate pictured.

Historical Context

Warner Company was founded in the mid-nineteenth century by William Warner, a Philadelphia pharmacist who had earned a fortune by inventing a sugar-coating for pills. In 1908, the company was acquired by the Gustavus A. Pfeiffer & Company, a patent medicine company from St. Louis. Pfeiffer retained the Warner company name, moved its headquarters to New York, and began a series of acquisitions that included the Hudnut line and the DuBarry cosmetic company.

In 1952, the President Elmer Homes Bobst made his first major acquisition, purchasing New Jersey Chilcott Laboratories, Inc. Chilcott earned its reputation as a manufacturer of ethical drugs largely through its development of Peritrate, a long-acting “vasodilator,” which enlarged constricted blood vessels. By 1966, an estimated 56 percent of 3.1 million people afflicted by heart disease used Peritrate. While the sales of the drug became Warner-Hudnut’s mark of excellence in the pharmaceutical industry, its success was also cause for some controversy.

Peritrate proved useful in a wider application of treatments than originally allowed, and the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approved of Peritrate’s “new drug” usages in 1959. Over the next several years, however, Warner embarked on a controversial Peritrate advertising campaign. Appearing in several medical journals, including the Journal of the American Medical Association, ten page ads advocated the use of Peritrate not only for the treatment of angina, but as a “life-prolonging” prophylactic for all cardiac patients. The advertisement, based on the results of one study, was released at a time when the FDA had initiated an increasingly aggressive policy of evaluating claims for drug effectiveness. Even as the director of the study refuted the advertisement claims, Warner-Lambert executives stood by the claims for the effectiveness of their drug. However, by 1966, the government, under the directive of the FDA, seized a shipment of the drug, bringing charges against the company’s unapproved advocacy of an even wider usage for the drug.

Also during this time, Bobst arranged a merger between his company and Lambert-Pharmacal. Bobst had met the president of Lambert, Edward Williams, at a meeting of the American Foundation for Pharmaceutical Education, and the two decided that their operations, each producing different but reputable products, would complement one another. Bobst was particularly interested in gaining access to Lambert’s well-organized distribution network, which incorporated modern marketing techniques previously unavailable at Warner-Hudnut’s. Furthermore, Williams brought a strong background in the management of pharmaceutical companies, enhancing Bobst’s accomplished executive team, which had little experience in the pharmaceutical industry. When Warner and Lambert merged, former governor Alfred Driscoll was named president of the new company.