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Upjohn Company Ephemera Collection

Identifier: A-3781

Scope and Contents

This collection is composed of one 1958 Calorie Counter booklet published by the Upjohn Company of Kalamazoo, MI, two 1977 facility tour booklets, three employee bonus check Christmas cards circa. 1980 and six business reply cards circa. 1980 from the Upjohn Company, 12 business reply cards dating from 1976-1980 to Laboratory Procedures Inc. of King of Prussia, PA and Inglewood, CA, one 1984 program and invitation to the dedication ceremony of the Multifunctional Research Building 267 at the Upjohn Company, one Corporate Technical Library Map, and one 1986 Centennial Gift Catalog, from the Upjohn Company of Kalamazoo.


  • Majority of material found within 1958, 1977, 1980, 1984, 1986

Biographical / Historical

The Upjohn Company was founded in 1886 by Dr. William E. Upjohn (6/5/1853-10/18/1932) of Kalamazoo, Michigan. William was an 1875 graduate of the University of Michigan Medical School. He invented the easily digested “friable” pill which he received a patent for in 1885. It was in the following year that he and his brothers Henry (7/22/1843-1/2/1887) and Fredrick (1857-1917) founded the Upjohn Pill and Granule Company as a means of manufacturing the new friable pills as well as 186 various other medicinal formulas. In 1902, the name was shortened to the Upjohn Company. By 1903, disagreements among the three brothers led to William buying Henry and Fredrick out of their shares in the company, giving him sole control.

In 1995, Upjohn merged with Pharmacia AB, and was renamed Pharmacia and Upjohn. In 2002, that combined company was absorbed into the Pfizer Corporation.

The Calorie Counter booklet, printed in 1958 by the Upjohn Company provided the user with the calorie count of popular foods to help them better keep track of their diets.

The tour booklets published in 1977 were given to guests touring the Upjohn facilities on Portage Road in Kalamazoo. The booklets contained information on when tours were given and included several promotional photographs that highlighted various areas of the building in the 1970s.

The business reply cards contained in this collection offer an example of how departments communicated between each other in the 1970s and 80s. Surveys, company directory submissions, and promotional advertisements were sent via the reply cards.

Laboratory Procedures Inc. was a division of the Upjohn Company, with locations in King of Prussia, PA and Inglewood, CA. The business reply cards contained in this collection would be sent to Laboratory Inc. for the means of requesting information and reports on various subjects by other Upjohn employees.

Proclaiming “new directions in science and technology,” the 1984 program and invitation to the dedication of Building 267 of the Multifunctional Research Facility on Henrietta Street in Kalamazoo, provides an example of Upjohn’s continued success and expansion of its resources and facilities. The map of the new Corporate Technical Library gives an example of the layout of one of the many parts of building 267.

The invitation for the dedication ceremony was sent to Miss. Nettie A. Mehne of Kalamazoo, MI. Nettie was born on August 18, 1914 in Duluth, Minnesota. (8/18/1914-1/22/2000) She graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Library Science Degree and was a librarian for the Technical Library at the Upjohn Company from 1952 until her retirement in 1979. Prior to her time at Upjohn, she had been a librarian at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, the Wesley memorial Hospital School of Nursing Library in Chicago, IL, and Percy Jones Hospital Medical Library in Battle Creek, MI. Nettie died on January 22, 2000. She is buried in Forest Hills Cemetery in Duluth, MN.

Finally, the 1986 Upjohn Centennial Collectible Gift Program catalog, published by Spencer Marketing Systems Inc. of Portage, MI, was given to employees and retirees of the Upjohn Company. The catalog contains collectible items that were available for purchase by past and present employees of the company in honor of their centennial. Items included clothing, luggage, key chains, calculators, plaques; porcelain and glass all with the Upjohn name and “100” engraved or embroidered on in commemoration of the anniversary.


0.10 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials


Physical Description

This collection amounts to 0.10 cubic feet of space and is comprised of one 1958 Calorie Counter Booklet measuring 4 ½”x3,” two 1977 facility tour booklets measuring 6”x4 ¼,” three employee bonus check Christmas cards circa. 1980 measuring 7”x3 ¼,” six business reply cards circa. 1980 measuring 6 ¾”x4 ¼,” from the Upjohn Company of Kalamazoo, MI. Twelve business reply cards dating from 1976-1980 measuring 6 ½”x3 ¾,” for Laboratory Inc. of King of Prussia, PA and Inglewood, CA. One 1984 building dedication program measuring 8 ½”x4,” an invitation with envelope each measuring 6 ½”x4 ¾,” sent to Miss. Nettie A. Mehne of Kalamazoo, MI for the dedication ceremony of building 267 belonging to the Upjohn Company located at 301 Henrietta St. in Kalamazoo, MI, One 1984 map of the Corporate Technical Library in building 267 measuring 11”x6,” and one 1986 Collectible Gift Catalog measuring 11x8 ¼,” published in honor of the Upjohn Company’s 100th anniversary.

All contents contained within the collection are in good condition with minimal wear.


Purchased with funds from the Starring Endowment. Related Collection: Upjohn Company Collection, A-429 More information on the Upjohn Company, including “personal memories” can be found at:

Upjohn Company Ephemera Collection Finding Aid
Ashley Kirvan
1958, 1977, 1980, 1984, 1986
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Western Michigan University Archives & Regional History Collections Repository

Charles C. and Lynn L. Zhang Legacy Collections Center
1650 Oakland Drive
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5307 US
(269) 387-8490