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Meade and Baker Apothecary (Richmond, Va.)


Historical Note

Thomas Roberts Baker, son of Hilary and Margaret Marshall Roberts Baker, was born in Richmond, Virginia on May 30, 1825. As a youth, Baker learned the pharmaceutical business under Alexander Duval, then attended the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, graduating in 1852. During the Civil War, Baker enlisted in the Confederate Army as a member of the Richmond Howitzers but was ordered to report to the army's medical department, where he would serve throughout the war. Baker married Maria G. Burgwyn in 1868, and the couple would have one son.

Richard Hardaway Meade, son of Benjamin and Eliza Hardaway Meade, was born in Powhatan County, Virginia, in January 1831. As a boy, Meade moved with his family to Richmond; like Thomas Baker, Meade found early employment in the drugstore of Alexander Duval. In 1856, Meade and Baker partnered to establish an apothecary shop on the corner of Richmond's 9th and Franklin streets. During the Civil War, Meade served as a member of the House Guard. He married Jane Catherine Fontaine. The Meades would have five children. Though Meade was the junior partner of Meade & Baker, he is credited with having played a larger role in creating many of the company's formulas, including that for a mouthwash that would become very popular.

Meade & Baker eventually moved to the 900 block of East Main Street and became the largest apothecaries in the city. When Meade died in 1880, Baker bought out his partner's interest in the company. The company's mouthwash product eventually became so successful that Baker in 1888 created the separate Meade amp; Baker Carbolic Mouthwash Company, which manufactured and sold not only its namesake product, but a tooth powder as well. At the same time, the original drugstore was sold to the head pharmacist, William P. Poythress. In 1892, the mouthwash company became a stock company with Baker serving as president. Thomas Roberts Baker died on November 26, 1906.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Meade & Baker Apothecary Ledger

Identifier: Ms-2009-130

The collection contains an accounts ledger for a pharmaceutical firm in Richmond, Virginia, including customer names, addresses and itemized lists of purchases.

Dates: 1861 - 1870