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1900

Pfizer would remain a privately held company until June 22, 1942, when 240,000 shares of new common stock were offered to the public

1905

He serves as President from 1906 to 1941 and briefly as Chairman in 1941. He is the last member of the Pfizer/Erhart family to be actively involved with the company.

1906

Company sales exceed $3 million.

1914

Anderson, who had joined Pfizer in 1873 as a 16-year-old office boy, would remain Chairman until 1929.

1919

Spurred by this invention, Kane goes on to develop a new deep-tank fermentation method using molasses rather than refined sugar as raw material—the process that will ultimately unlock the secret for large-scale production of penicillin.

1924

A celebration at the Brooklyn plant, which has 306 employees, marks the milestone.

1928

Alexander Fleming discovers the antibiotic properties of the penicillin mold, an event destined to make medical history and to change the course of Pfizer´s future.

1929

William Erhart (right) is named the new chairman, Emile Pfizer continues to serve as president, and John Anderson's son, George, becomes senior vice president.

1936

Encouraged by this success, Pfizer pushes ahead in 1938 with production of vitamin B-2, or riboflavin, and eventually develops a vitamin mix that includes riboflavin, thiamin, niacin, and iron. From vitamin B-12, the company moves on to vitamin A, and by the late 1940s, Pfizer will become the established leader in the manufacture of vitamins.

1939

Pfizer succeeds so well in the production of citric acid by fermenting sugar that a pound of citric acid, which had cost $1.25 in 1919, tumbles to 20¢, and Pfizer is widely recognized as a leader in fermentation technology.

1941

In a risky maneuver, Pfizer's senior management invests millions of dollars, putting their own assets as Pfizer stockholders at stake, to buy the equipment and facilities needed for this novel process of deep-tank fermentation. Pfizer purchases a nearby vacant ice plant, and employees work around the clock to convert it and perfect the complex production process. In just four months, Pfizer is producing five times more penicillin than originally anticipated. Penicillin is a turning point in human history—the first real defense against bacterial infection.

1944

Most of the penicillin that goes ashore with Allied forces on D-Day is made by Pfizer.  The company's contribution to the war effort is heralded nationwide and earns Pfizer the coveted Army-Navy "E" Award on April 17, 1943.

1945

John L. Smith fills the office of President.

1949

Pfizer scientists begin an intensive quest to find new organisms to fight disease.

1950

Terramycin® (oxytetracycline), a broad-spectrum antibiotic that is the result of the Company's first discovery program, becomes the first pharmaceutical sold in the United States under the Pfizer label. Pfizer begins expansion into overseas markets and the International Division is created.

Terramycin also marks the beginning of the Pfizer Pharmaceutical Sales Force. Upon its approval by the United States Food and Drug Administration on March 15, 1950, eight specially trained Pfizer pharmaceutical salesmen waiting for word at pay phones across the nation move into action to get inventory to wholesalers and to educate physicians about Pfizer's first proprietary pharmaceutical product. These men are the vanguard of a sales and marketing organization that will come to be recognized as the best in the industry.