Guide to the American Hospital Supply Corporation Records

Collection Title: American Hospital Supply Corporation Records
Dates: 1920-1986
Bulk Dates:
Identification: 55/28/3
Creator: American Hospital Supply Corporation
Extent: 22 Boxes
Language of Materials: English
Abstract: Filling twenty-two boxes, this series dates between 1920 to 1986. Records are included for the following categories: advertising; marketing; corporate correspondence; divisional records for acquisitions and subsidiaries; mergers; scrapbooks; stocks and securities; legal records.
Note: Other Information:
Acquisition Information: This series has been separated from the papers of Foster G. McGaw, donated by James Vail to the University Archives on February 22, 1988 as Accession 88-52
Processing Information: Ned Howard, December, 1997
Separated Materials: One and a half cubic feet of duplicates and extraneous material were discarded. Publications were separated and interfiled with series 55/28/1. A small number of photographs were separated.
Conditions Governing Access: None.
Repository: Northwestern University Archives
Deering Library, Room 110
1970 Campus Dr.
Evanston, IL, 60208-2300
URL: http://www.library.northwestern.edu/archives
Email: archives@northwestern.edu
Phone: 847-491-3354

Biographical/Historical Information

Founded in 1922 by Foster G. McGaw (1897-1986), the American Hospital Supply Corporation (AHSC) served as a major supplier of health care products to hospitals in the United States and around the world through subsidiaries for over half a century. The AHSC maintained its position of leader in the health care industry until the corporation was acquired by competitor Baxter Travenol in a merger on November 25, 1985.

The AHSC dominated the hospital supply field during the 1930s and 1940s by changing the way hospital supplies were marketed, designating regional salesman who made frequent sales calls. The AHSC continued to dominate the field by diversifying its product line and later by pursuing vertical integration of suppliers.

The 1950s and 1960s was a period of strong growth for the AHSC. In 1953, the AHSC reported sales surpassing $37.5 million. Ten years later, sales had jumped to $150 million. By 1964, the AHSC sold to 19 out of 20 hospitals in America. The AHSC also employed one out of every 46 workers in America as well. While the tremendous success enjoyed by the AHSC was a result of the corporations strong leadership, the growth of the hospital industry also played a vital role increasing sales for the AHSC. From 1946 to 1962, the number of hospital beds rose 15%. During that same time, hospital admissions rose by 70%.

Throughout the history of the AHSC, Foster G. McGaw played a prominent role in the direction of the corporation. McGaw's influence on the day-to-day operations of the AHSC lessened as the corporation expanded and branched out into manufacturing during the 1960s and 1970s. Despite McGaw's waning influence within the AHSC executive structure, he still maintained a role of father figure to the corporation.

For more information about the AHSC, see Growth Through Service: The Story of the American Hospital Supply Corporation by Frederick D. Sturdivant (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1970).

Scope and Content

Filling twenty-two boxes, this series dates between 1920 to 1986. Records are included for the following categories: advertising; marketing; corporate correspondence; divisional records for acquisitions and subsidiaries; mergers; scrapbooks; stocks and securities; legal records.

The records are arranged alphabetically by topic in keeping with the system of ordering established by the donor, Foster G. McGaw. Within the folders, documents are arranged in chronological order by date with the exception of the scrapbook folders, which are arranged in a rough chronological order by date.

Advertising Records detail the early efforts of the AHSC and include journal advertisements, export advertisements, and institutional advertisements. Corporate correspondence including correspondence between Foster G. McGaw and Neal Ball, Karl Bays, Charles F. Hough, Mackay A. Calder, and others. Division records include many of the AHSC's acquisitions and subsidiaries. The scrapbook records contain news clippings, correspondence, speeches, greeting cards, awards, and photocopies of newspaper articles among other things. The scrapbook records illustrate the blurred distinction between Foster G. McGaw's career as president, and his later position of honorary chairman of the board, of the AHSC and his personal life.

Arrangement of Materials

Subjects

Corporate Name

American Hospital Supply Corporation

Subjects

Pharmaceutical industry


Container List / Contents

  • Advertising: Baxter Laboratories, Inc., 1962-1954Box 1, Folder 1
  • Advertising: Early, 1927-1930Box 1, Folder 2
  • Advertising: Export Division, 1952-1953Box 1, Folder 3
  • Advertising: General, 1942-1947Box 1, Folder 4
  • Advertising: General, 1944Box 1, Folder 5
  • Advertising: General, 1945-1949Box 1, Folder 6
  • Advertising: General, 1955-1956Box 1, Folder 7
  • Advertising: Institutional, 1952-1954Box 1, Folder 8
  • Advertising: Journal Ads, 1956-1959Box 1, Folder 9
  • Advertising: Journal Ads, 1961-1962Box 1, Folder 10
  • Advertising: Journal Clippings, 1956-1960Box 2, Folder 1
  • Advertising: Meal Pack, 1952-1953Box 2, Folder 2
  • Advertising: Serum, 1952-1953Box 2, Folder 3
  • Benefits and Compensation: Automatic Payroll Deposit, 1977Box 2, Folder 4
  • Benefits and Compensation: Booz, Allen, and Hamilton Insurance, 1953-1959Box 2, Folder 5
  • Benefits and Compensation: Booz, Allen, and Hamilton, 1960-1961Box 2, Folder 6
  • Benefits and Compensation: Employee Benefits, 1976-1977Box 2, Folder 7
  • Benefits and Compensation: Equitable Group Life, 1974-1978Box 2, Folder 8
  • Benefits and Compensation: Executive Compensation Planning, 1960Box 2, Folder 9
  • Benefits and Compensation: Incentive Investment Plan, 1978-1982Box 2, Folder 10
  • Benefits and Compensation: Insurance, 1963-1976Box 2, Folder 11
  • Benefits and Compensation: John Hancock Insurance, 1955-1983Box 2, Folder 12
  • Benefits and Compensation: Prudential Insurance, 1978Box 2, Folder 13
  • Benefits and Compensation: Prudential Medical Plan, 1979-1980Box 2, Folder 14
  • Benefits and Compensation: Sun Life Assurance Insurance, 1941-1982Box 2, Folder 15
  • Benefits and Compensation: Travel Insurance, 1957-1973Box 2, Folder 16
  • Board Meetings: Agendas, 1985Box 3, Folder 1
  • Board Meetings: Correspondence, 1970-1977Box 3, Folder 2
  • Board Meetings: Minutes, 1985Box 3, Folder 3
  • Corporate: 30th Anniversary, 1952Box 3, Folder 4
  • Corporate: 40th Anniversary, 1962Box 3, Folder 5
  • Corporate: 45th Anniversary, 1967Box 3, Folder 6
  • Corporate: 50th Anniversary, 1972Box 3, Folder 7
  • Corporate: 55th Anniversary, 1977Box 3, Folder 8
  • Corporate: Annual Report Mailing List, 1978-1985Box 3, Folder 9
  • Corporate: Business Ethics and Code of Conduct, 1977-1985Box 3, Folder 10
  • Corporate: By-Laws, 1977-1978Box 3, Folder 11
  • Corporate: History and Profiles, 1964-1971Box 3, Folder 12
  • Corporate: Incorporation, 1922Box 3, Folder 13
  • Corporate: Management Philosophy Project, 1979Box 3, Folder 14
  • Corporate: Northwestern University School of Commerce, 1953Box 3, Folder 15
  • Corporate: Officer's Liability, 1976Box 4, Folder 1
  • Corporate: Organization Structure, 1957-1961Box 4, Folder 2
  • Corporate: Political Contributions Policy, 1975-1976Box 4, Folder 3
  • Corporate: Profit Sharing Trust, 1962-1986Box 4, Folder 4
  • Corporate: Organization Charts, 1954-1976Box 4, Folder 5
  • Corporate: Top Management Organization Manual (Draft), 1958Box 4, Folder 6
  • Corporate: Top Management Organization Manual (Short), 1958Box 4, Folder 7
  • Corporate: Unit Head Meeting, 1971Box 4, Folder 8
  • Corporate: Correspondence; Ball, Neal, 1976Box 4, Folder 9
  • Corporate: Correspondence; Bays, Karl D., 1969-1976Box 4, Folder 10
  • Corporate: Correspondence; Baxter, Delia, 1959-1968Box 4, Folder 11
  • Corporate: Correspondence; Bernthal, Harold G., 1959-1968Box 4, Folder 12
  • Corporate: Correspondence; Cushman, Austin T., 1970Box 4, Folder 13
  • Corporate: Correspondence; Employees, 1939-1942Box 4, Folder 14
  • Corporate: Correspondence; Hough, Charles F., 1961-19675Box 4, Folder 15
  • Corporate: Correspondence; Houser, Theodore V., 1963Box 5, Folder 1
  • Corporate: Correspondence; Mackay, A. Calder, 1964-1965Box 5, Folder 2
  • Corporate: Correspondence, Misc., 1937-1980Box 5, Folder 3
  • Corporate: Correspondence, Misc., 1982-1985Box 5, Folder 4
  • Corporate: Correspondence; Murdough, Thomas G., 1961-1962Box 5, Folder 5
  • Corporate: Correspondence; Stevens, Leo E., 1932-1968Box 5, Folder 6
  • Corporate: Correspondence; Storch, C. A., 1974-1975Box 5, Folder 7
  • Corporate: Customer Form Letters, 1949-1964Box 5, Folder 8
  • Corporate: Customer Form Letters, 1952-1965Box 5, Folder 9
  • Divisions: American Hospital Supply Corporation, 1976Box 5, Folder 10
  • Divisions: Arnar Stone, 1973-1976Box 5, Folder 11
  • Divisions: Baxter Laboratories, 1935-1973Box 5, Folder 12
  • Divisions: Dade, 1973Box 5, Folder 13
  • Divisions: Don Baxter, Inc., 1935-1965Box 5, Folder 14
  • Divisions: Don Baxter, Inc., 1945-1948Box 5, Folder 15
  • Divisions: Hospital Building and Equipment Co., 1975Box 6, Folder 1
  • Divisions: Medicus Corporation, 1970-1973Box 6, Folder 2
  • Divisions: McGaw Laboratories, 1976Box 6, Folder 3
  • Divisions: McGaw Park Opening, 1970Box 6, Folder 4
  • Divisions: Irvine Industrial Complex, 1969-1976Box 6, Folder 5
  • Divisions: Irvine Industrial Complex, 1970Box 6, Folder 6
  • Divisions: Other Corporate Officers, 1958-1976Box 6, Folder 7
  • Divisions: Scientific Products, 1954Box 6, Folder 8
  • Divisions: Scientific Products, 1976Box 6, Folder 9
  • Educational Foundation, 1981-1984Box 6, Folder 10
  • Employee Letters, 1951-1964Box 6, Folder 11
  • Financial: International Financing, 1977Box 6, Folder 12
  • Financial: Northwest National Bank, 1966-1968Box 6, Folder 13
  • Financial: Tax Revision Act, 1976Box 6, Folder 14
  • Lake County Property, 1968-1969Box 6, Folder 15
  • Legal: Anti-Trust, 1968-1975Box 6, Folder 16
  • Legal: Federal Election Commission, 1980Box 6, Folder 17
  • Legal: Four Seasons Nursing Corporation Litigation 1, 1977Box 7, Folder 1
  • Legal: Four Seasons Nursing Corporation Litigation 2, 1977Box 7, Folder 2
  • Legal: Four Seasons Nursing Corporation Litigation 3, 1977Box 7, Folder 3
  • Legal: Gardner, Carton & Douglas, 1976Box 7, Folder 4
  • Legal: Keck, Robert C., Proceedings, 1978Box 7, Folder 5
  • Legal: Keck, Robert C., SUNH Audit, 1977-1978Box 7, Folder 6
  • Legal: McGaw Laboratories and the FDA, 1976Box 7, Folder 7
  • Legal: Stockholders Derivative Class Action, 1977Box 7, Folder 8
  • Legal: White and White V. AHSC, 1982Box 8, Folder 1
  • Marketing: Disposable Diaper Survey, 1971-1972Box 8, Folder 2
  • Marketing: General Service Administration Open Market Selling, 1973Box 8, Folder 3
  • Marketing: Report, 1978Box 8, Folder 4
  • Medical Device Legislation, 1969-1971Box 8, Folder 5
  • Mergers: AHSC/HCA Merger, 1984-1985Box 8, Folder 6
  • Mergers: AHSC/HCA Merger, 1984-1985Box 8, Folder 7
  • Mergers: AHSC/HCA Merger, 1984-1985Box 8, Folder 8
  • Mergers: AHSC/HCA Merger, 1984-1985Box 8, Folder 9
  • Mergers: AHSC/HCA Merger, 1984-1985Box 8, Folder 10
  • Mergers: Baxter Acquisition of AHSC, 1985Box 9, Folder 1
  • Mergers: Information on Acquisitions and Subsidiaries, 1969Box 9, Folder 2
  • Press Clippings, UndatedBox 9, Folder 3
  • Press Clippings, 1951-1970Box 9, Folder 4
  • Press Clippings, 1971-1977Box 9, Folder 5
  • Press Clippings, 1978Box 9, Folder 6
  • Press Clippings, 1979-1980Box 9, Folder 7
  • Press Releases, 1969-1980Box 9, Folder 8
  • Products: Flyers, UndatedBox 10, Folder 1
  • Products: New Releases, 1953Box 10, Folder 2
  • Products: New Releases, 1955-1957Box 10, Folder 3
  • Products: New Releases, 1958Box 10, Folder 4
  • Products: New Releases, 1958Box 10, Folder 5
  • Products: Letters, 1947-1963Box 10, Folder 6
  • Products: Letters, 1952-1963Box 10, Folder 7
  • Scrapbook, 1920-1938Box 11, Folder 1
  • Scrapbook, 1943-1949Box 11, Folder 2
  • Scrapbook, 1950-1952Box 11, Folder 3
  • Scrapbook, 1950-1959Box 11, Folder 4
  • Scrapbook, 1962-1964Box 11, Folder 5
  • Scrapbook, 1965Box 12, Folder 1
  • Scrapbook, 1965-1968Box 12, Folder 2
  • Scrapbook, 1966Box 12, Folder 3
  • Scrapbook, 1967Box 12, Folder 4
  • Scrapbook, 1968Box 12, Folder 5
  • Scrapbook, 1969Box 13, Folder 1
  • Scrapbook, 1969Box 13, Folder 2
  • Scrapbook, 1970Box 13, Folder 3
  • Scrapbook, 1970Box 13, Folder 4
  • Scrapbook, 1971Box 14, Folder 1
  • Scrapbook, 1971Box 14, Folder 2
  • Scrapbook, 1972Box 14, Folder 3
  • Scrapbook, 1973Box 14, Folder 4
  • Scrapbook, 1974Box 14, Folder 5
  • Scrapbook, 1975Box 15, Folder 1
  • Scrapbook, 1975Box 15, Folder 2
  • Scrapbook, 1976Box 15, Folder 3
  • Scrapbook, 1976Box 15, Folder 4
  • Scrapbook, 1976Box 15, Folder 5
  • Scrapbook, 1977Box 15, Folder 6
  • Scrapbook, 1977Box 16, Folder 1
  • Scrapbook, 1978Box 16, Folder 2
  • Scrapbook, 1978Box 16, Folder 3
  • Scrapbook, 1978Box 16, Folder 4
  • Scrapbook, 1978Box 16, Folder 5
  • Scrapbook, 1979Box 16, Folder 6
  • Scrapbook, 1980Box 16, Folder 7
  • Scrapbook, 1980-1981Box 17, Folder 1
  • Scrapbook, 1981Box 17, Folder 2
  • Scrapbook, 1982Box 17, Folder 3
  • Scrapbook, 1982Box 17, Folder 4
  • Scrapbook, 1982Box 17, Folder 5
  • Scrapbook, 1983Box 17, Folder 6
  • Scrapbook, 1983Box 18, Folder 1
  • Scrapbook, 1983Box 18, Folder 2
  • Scrapbook, 1984Box 18, Folder 3
  • Scrapbook, 1984Box 18, Folder 4
  • Scrapbook, 1984Box 18, Folder 5
  • Scrapbook, 1985Box 18, Folder 6
  • Scrapbook, 1985Box 19, Folder 1
  • Scrapbook: Growth through Service Autograph List, 1970-1973Box 19, Folder 2
  • Securities and Exchange Commission: Audit Committee Final Report, 1977Box 19, Folder 3
  • Securities and Exchange Commission: Audit Committee Report to Board of Directors, 1977Box 19, Folder 4
  • Securities and Exchange Commission: Common Stock, 1966-1978Box 19, Folder 5
  • Securities and Exchange Commission: Form 4, 1985Box 19, Folder 6
  • Securities and Exchange Commission: Form 8-K, 1976-1979Box 19, Folder 7
  • Securities and Exchange Commission: Form 10-K, 1981-1983Box 19, Folder 8
  • Securities and Exchange Commission: From 13-D, 1982Box 19, Folder 9
  • Securities and Exchange Commission: Form S-7 Registration, 1971-1982Box 19, Folder 10
  • Securities and Exchange Commission: Miscellaneous, 1929-1985Box 20, Folder 1
  • Securities and Exchange Commission: Report, 1960-1985Box 20, Folder 2
  • Speeches: Bays, Karl, 1970-1977Box 20, Folder 3
  • Speeches: Corporate Officers, 1952-1960Box 20, Folder 4
  • Speeches: Ehmann, Frank A., 1976Box 20, Folder 5
  • Speeches: Miscellaneous, 1952-1963Box 20, Folder 6
  • Speeches: Miscellaneous, 1962-1978Box 20, Folder 7
  • Stock Information: Common Stock Public Sale, 1962-1973Box 21, Folder 1
  • Stock Information: Conflict of Interest, 1970-1978Box 21, Folder 2
  • Stock Information: Miscellaneous, 1951-1953Box 21, Folder 3
  • Stock Information: Miscellaneous, 1962-1969Box 21, Folder 4
  • Stock Information: Miscellaneous, 1962-1980Box 21, Folder 5
  • Stock Information: Miscellaneous, 1970-1980Box 21, Folder 6
  • Stock Information: Miscellaneous, 1970-1980Box 21, Folder 7
  • Stock Information: Miscellaneous, 1970-1980Box 21, Folder 8
  • Stock Information: Miscellaneous, 1971Box 21, Folder 9
  • Stock Information: Miscellaneous, 1972Box 21, Folder 10
  • Stock Information: Miscellaneous, 1973Box 21, Folder 11
  • Stock Information: Miscellaneous, 1974-1975Box 22, Folder 1
  • Stock Information: Miscellaneous, 1976Box 22, Folder 2
  • Stock Information: Miscellaneous, 1977Box 22, Folder 3
  • Stock Information: Proxy Registration, 1980-1985Box 22, Folder 4
  • Stock Information: Proxy Registration Statement and Question, 1960-1979Box 22, Folder 5
  • Stock Information: Public Offering, 1969-1970Box 22, Folder 6
  • Stock Information: S-1 Stock Option Prospectus, 1977Box 22, Folder 7
  • Stock Information: Secondary Offering, 1973Box 22, Folder 8
  • Stock Information: Shelf Registration, 1973Box 22, Folder 9
  • Stock Information: Stock Split Evaluation, 1972Box 22, Folder 10
  • Stock Information: Stock Split Evaluation, 1978-1986Box 22, Folder 11