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George D. Rosengarten (director) 1842-1881

Pharmaceutical Supplier

In 1821, a 20-year-old George D. Rosengarten was called in to mediate a dispute between two business partners, Seitler, a Frenchman who spoke only French and Zeitler, a German who spoke only German. Rosengarten, a German immigrant who was fluent in both (as well as English), was so helpful that they took him on as a partner and within two years he had become the sole owner of the company. The business began to prosper after he took on another partner, NFH Denis, a French chemist who was an expert in processing the malaria drug quinine, which financed the company’s expansion. Its products won numerous awards from the Franklin Institute and by 1862 it was selling more than 350 different chemicals and was the main provider of quinine to the Union Army.

A side note about Rosengarten’s son, Joseph, happened when he was on a train trip through the south. At a stop he took a walk to stretch his legs and was thought to be part of a rabble caused by John Brown, the legendary abolitionist. He was thrown in jail with John Brown himself where they spent some time talking. After a while, Joseph was discovered for whom he was when the sheriff revealed that his father was a pharmacist who had a long standing business relationship with George Rosengarten.

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