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Don Baxter, Inc.



  • Existence: 1929 - 1950


The impetus behind the founding of the Don Baxter, Inc. pharmaceutical company was the experience of Dr. Donald E. Baxter in a Chinese village in 1924. Dr. Baxter, then a medical missionary, was shaken by his involvement in a devastating cholera epidemic in which many thousands of people died. For the most part, they succumbed from a massive loss of body fluids.

Dr. Baxter never forgot that experience, and later when he returned to his California home, he reflected on the baneful effect on patients that resulted when physicians tried to replace their lost fluids with injections of sugar and water solutions. Utilizing technology that he developed in a small facility in Glendale, California, Don Baxter introduced the world’s first commercially safe glass containers for the delivery of sterile IV solutions in 1929.

Although Baxter revolutionized the medical world with the development of safe IV solutions, his company, Don Baxter, Inc., struggled, losing $12,900 in 1932. That same year, the company’s fortunes changed when the American Hospital Supply Corporation (AHSC), headed by Foster G. McGaw, became the sole distributor of Baxter’s IV solutions. The relationship was immediately successful, and in 1933 Don Baxter, Inc. was able to show a profit for the first time.

By 1950, AHSC decided that it wanted control over Don Baxter’s source of supply, and moved to take over the company. On August 1, 1950, AHSC acquired 53,280 shares of Don Baxter common stock, all of the company’s outstanding shares, making Don Baxter Inc. a subsidiary of AHSC.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Records of Don Baxter, Inc.

Identifier: 55/28/6

The Don Baxter, Inc. records consist of a small amount of correspondence and related administrative records for the company, as well as two scrapbooks.

Dates: 1930-1962